I am so excited today to welcome my friend Suzie Waltner to the blog to chat about her new contemporary romance Midnight Blue!
Suzie Waltner is a lover of fiction and is first and foremost a reader. When she’s not at work or reading or writing, you can find her cheering on the Nashville Predators (hockey) or dancing an hour away in Zumba class. Until her second year of college, her life plan was to become a veterinarian. A fainting spell while watching a surgery performed on a sheep changed that plan. Now she works in the corporate world during the day while creating stories in her free time. Suzie resides in a suburb of Nashville, TN and is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers as well as Faith, Hope, and Love Christian Writers. She currently serves as the president of the Middle Tennessee ACFW chapter.
MIDNIGHT BLUE by Suzie Waltner
SERIES: Love in Color #1
GENRE: Inspirational Contemporary Romance
PUBLISHER: Anaiah Press
RELEASE DATE: September 6, 2022
A series of heartbreaking setbacks behind her, Scarlett Sykes is now focused on creating the best life possible for her daughter. One where innocence and joy is not colored by rejection or loss. While finances are tight and Scarlett’s job isn’t ideal for a single mother, her child will always know she’s loved. Especially since Harmony’s father wanted nothing to do with them.
As lead singer and the face of a successful country band, Jake Turnquist’s closest friends depend on him, but life in the spotlight is quickly losing its appeal. At a party celebrating another accomplishment, he’s stunned to discover Scarlett assisting the caterer. Almost ten years have passed, but he’s never forgotten his first love.
In the hours after a surprise revelation, Jake scrambles to orchestrate a way to spend time with Scarlett and Harmony—the family he’s always wanted but never knew he had. He once gave her up to pursue his music. What will he have to surrender to win her back?
Hi sweet friend! Welcome to the blog!
Suzie: Winter. Summer is brutal in the south when you walk out the door into the wall of heat and humidity, and winter is a short season here in Tennessee. Plus, I just love how the world feels more peaceful when there is a blanket of fresh-fallen snow on the ground.
Carrie: yes please!!
Suzie: Tea. Despite my entire family being coffee drinkers, I’ve never developed a liking to the taste or the smell. I don’t like anything with a coffee-flavor in it.
Carrie: i’m the same way, though I don’t particularly like tea either lol
Suzie: Audiobooks. If you’d asked me this question three years ago, I would have said music, but I’ve grown to love audiobooks and am usually listening to one during the day (thankfully, I have a day job that allows me to keep up on my reading list).
Carrie: i so wish i could acquire a taste for audiobooks!
Suzie: Card game. When I was a teenager, some friends of our family taught us to play a game called Nerts (I would describe it as a combination of Solitaire and War). My family still plays this often when we get together. In college, my friends and I played a lot of Hearts and Spades (and Nerts). And the last time I was visiting my family, my parents taught us a new card game called Hand and Foot.
Carrie: we love playing cards too!
Suzie: Ebook. I know this isn’t the popular opinion—and I do love having those beautiful books on my bookshelves—I love the ability to carry an entire library with me. I appreciate that I can adjust the font, make notes, highlight passages, and read in the dark with ebooks.
Carrie: I’m with you!
Q: Around here I like to say that reading is my superpower. If YOU had a superpower, what would it be?
Suzie: If I could choose my superpower, I want to be able to manipulate time. I’d love to make the work week go by quicker and the weekend (or vacations) last longer. It would also be great to fast forward to the days prior to something I am really looking forward to (although, the anticipation is what makes the arrival day that much sweeter, isn’t it?).
Carrie: I would love to be able to manipulate time so I could catch up on my reading list LOL
Q: Tell me some good books you’ve read recently.
Suzie: Three of my most recent favorites (and a quick reason why) are:
By Way of the Moonlight by Elizabeth Musser
There is so much packed into this book. From horses to the Coast Guard’s role in protecting America’s beaches during WWII and much more. But the heart of this book is in the two women who are both human (flaws like stubborn determination and all) and the way they learn to trust God through their heartbreak.
The Extraordinary Deaths of Mrs. Kip by Sara Brunsvold
One of my favorite parts of this book is how Clara takes Aidyn under her wing, prays for her, and mentors her, showing Aidyn the way to impact lives for God’s kingdom. Even when it was painful, even through her grief and setbacks, Clara Kip continued to love. We need a world with more Mrs. Kips.
Turn to Me by Becky Wade
Wade writes characters with such personality, you can’t help but become friends with them by the end of her books. In Turn to Me, she also gives readers a mystery to solve, which makes an already engaging book difficult to put down. In addition, we get a brand-new perspective of what happened with the Miracle Five during the earthquake and how Luke still carries so much guilt. If that’s not enough for you, the author also gives us the rest of Ben’s story.
Q: Do you have any strange writing habits/quirks? Any snacks/beverages that are a must when you sit down to write?
Suzie: This isn’t unheard of in the writing community, but I write all of my first drafts longhand. Because I work at a computer 40 hours a week at my day job, putting pen to paper is the trigger for my brain that what I am doing is creative and not business. The only problem with this is that sometimes I can’t read my own writing, but I can usually figure it out with the context of everything around that word or sentence I can’t read.
I don’t always have snacks when I write, but if I do, Junior Mints are a must for me. They’re a good thing to have because a few go a long way.
Carrie: i have such respect for those of you who do write your first drafts in longhand!
Q: Were there any songs that inspired you as you wrote Midnight Blue?
Suzie: Since this book features a musician, music and songs play a huge role in it. I’ve never been a fan of country music, but since that’s where I put Jake and his band, I’ve become one.
The title of my book is also the title of a song Jake wrote (aka I wrote) as an apology for his first love, but what he didn’t anticipate that song becoming his most popular hit and having to sing it at every show.
When I finished the book, I found someone to put music to my lyrics, so I can officially say I’m a songwriter now. 😊 If you’d like to listen to the song, here’s a lyric video for “Midnight Blue.” https://vimeo.com/665449460/be4cb6755c
Carrie: ok that’s seriously cool!
Q: Did you have the whole plot outlined before you started writing Midnight Blue, or did you let the characters dictate what came next?
Suzie: Oh, my characters decide their stories. I am 100% a pantser. The couple times I’ve tried to outline a story, the first chapter took me in completely different directions, so now I just let the story happen. Although, I do usually plan for a couple of big “aha” moments in the stories that end up making it in. For example, I had an idea how Jake was going to find out Harmony is his daughter in Midnight Blue, and that scene is in the book.
Carrie: i find that process so fascinating!
Q: What do you most want readers to take away from Midnight Blue?
Suzie: I hope this book is a reminder that no matter the mistakes we make or how badly we mess up, God is greater. He can redeem our poor choices or errors in judgement and breathe new life into some relationships we see as dead or broken.
Carrie: amen ♥
Thank you so much for taking time to talk with me! 🙂 Before we say goodbye for today, tell us what‘s coming up next for you.
Suzie: Readers will meet the other members of the band in Midnight Blue, and they’re each getting their own stories told in this four-book series, which is great because I wasn’t ready to say goodbye to this group of friends yet. I’m currently writing book three (Levi and Mia’s story) while awaiting edits for book two (Seth and Cassidy’s story).
Suzie Waltner is offering an ebook of Midnight Blue and a $10 Amazon gift card to one of my readers! (Void where prohibited by law or logistics.) This giveaway is subject to Reading Is My SuperPower’s giveaway policies which can be found here. Enter via the Rafflecopter form below.
What about you? What makes you want to read Midnight Blue by Suzie Waltner?