Tuesday, 17 July 2012

Blog Tour & Giveaway: Freefall by Susan Rae

review / interview / giveaway
*giveaway is at the bottom*

So apparently my go-to genre when I’m feeling weighed down by a long week is romance! When I read the synopsis of this one I was immediately intrigued as I have come into a family surrounded by aeroplanes. I even live under one of the landing routes for Schiphol Amsterdam and work between two others – there is no such thing as escape from the planes! What’s more, I’ve actually been on a flight in one of those little planes. Here’s a photo of me & the bf in front of our plane:

Title: Freefall
Author: Susan Rae
Publisher: Musa Publishing
Target Audience: Adult
Genre: Contemporary romance / chick lit / mystery
Length: Unknown (not too long)

Story: Freak accident, or attempted murder? Kate needs answers to her brother’s plane crash, but can she trust undercover DEA agent “Spike” Larsen to deliver them?

He felt as if he was falling—freefalling through 15,000 feet—without a parachute. It was exciting, thrilling—and deadly. He’d brought Kate up here to protect her, to keep her out of trouble. He’d told himself he owed that much to Keith. Now all he wanted to do was take her down into the cabin and ravage her ‘til dawn…

Kate Reynolds’s quest to unravel the mystery of her brother’s plane crash throws her into the turbulent wake of suave pilot/mechanic Everett Larsen. His gray gaze ignites in her a passion as powerful as a jet stream, but it also sparks a memory…

Drawn to Milwaukee by Keith’s cryptic message, Larsen is unprepared for the torrent of emotion he feels when he sees Kate—after his wife’s death, he is afraid to love again. But when Kate gets too close to the truth, he is even more afraid to lose her.

Thoughts and impressions: The book opens with “the pilot” taking off and soon realising that there’s something not right with his plane. He’s faced with the choice of attempting to right the problem by continuing with his flight – and thus potentially endangering citizens – or returning to the runway in what can only be a crash landing. Following the pilots’ code of ethics, he chooses to put only himself at risk rather than innocent people who just happen to live close by the airport.

We then meet his sister, Kate, who is having to come to terms with the fact that her brother has almost died in an accident involving a flying machine for the second time in his life. The doctors inform her that despite the extent of his injuries he still has brain activity, which is a good sign, but there’s no telling when, or if, he’ll wake up. Kate basically puts her life on hold in order to tend to her brother, but she also wants to help keep his business, an airport, running while he’s unable to keep on top of it himself. As she starts to uncover the events in his life leading up to his accident, though, she also finds herself wondering whether she really knew her brother as well as she thought she did.

At the same time, we’re introduced to Everett Larsen, an army buddy of our beloved coma patient, Keith. Keith had contacted him prior to the accident about something fishy taking place. What’s more, it would appear that Keith’s accident might not have been an accident at all. Everett, now an undercover investigator, is determined to get to the bottom of what happened to his friend, which puts him in Kate’s path. She doesn’t recognise him, though, and he’s happy to present a false persona in order to keep her from learning the truth.

There’s a lot of truth being kept from others in this story, which is usually the way of things in mystery, but Kate and Everett do tend to take it to an extreme. They’re both damaged individuals with previous relationships that ended in emotional turmoil. As such, they’re still working past their demons, but in each other they find a way of coming to terms with what happened – the past is the past and both realise that they need to turn a new page and look to the future instead.

I enjoyed the budding relationship between these two characters as well as the glimpse into life around a small airport. With Schiphol being one of the busiest airports in Europe, my experience is obviously very different, though I have visited some smaller ones in passing (like the “field” in the photo above), which seem much more relaxed and very quaint! In fact, the little views into the life running an airport like this were the highlight of the story.

My only real gripe with the story was that the truth behind what happened to Keith was fairly transparent. As soon as any new information was imparted to the characters, even if it was misleading, it was possible for the reader to put the pieces together much faster than the story was keeping up with. It was just too easy to unravel the mystery and I could see most of the twists and turns coming from the moment they were introduced.

Despite this, I enjoyed the read!

Style: Sometimes the dialogue sounded really corny. It just didn’t sound natural at all.

Final verdict: An enjoyable light and fluffy romance! 4 stars

Extra notes: Both bad language and sex are present.

*Disclosure of Material Connection: I am a member of Reading Addiction Blog Tours and a copy of this book was provided to me by the author. Although payment may have been received by Reading Addiction Blog Tours, no payment was received by me in exchange for this review. There was no obligation to write a positive review. All opinions expressed are entirely my own and may not necessarily agree with those of the author, publisher, publicist, or readers of this review. This disclosure is in accordance with the Federal Trade Commision’s 16 CFR, Part 255, Guides Concerning Use of Endorcements and Testimonials in Advertising*

The interview:

Hi there! Welcome to Rea’s Reading and Reviews. Thank you for taking the time to share some info about you and your book with me and my readers. Tell us a bit about yourself!

I have always been writing something since I was in 5th grade.  I wrote a melodrama for the Girl Scout Drama badge in sixth grade, complete with hero, heroine and dastardly villain.  It was lots of fun as I got to play the villain, also.  I’ve done some journalism, short stories, poetry, and even an historical novel—Savage Destiny—during the time of the bodice rippers.  That novel was never published which is probably a good thing!  I may rework it someday though…  Now I guess I have come full circle—romantic suspense is very much like a melodrama. 

1. Describe your book in ten words or fewer.  

Spicy romance and intrigue centered around a mysterious plane crash. 

2. With such a large number of books out there, what do you feel sets your apart from all others? 

The setting, and the intriguing characters.  The story takes place in the Wisconsin’s Kettle Moraine Forest and picturesque Door County; but while the setting is idyllic, the drama is not.  As for the characters, Everett and Keith are former Afghanistan special ops pilots who have vowed to look out for each other; Kate is a tough, modern day heroine, head of her own software company, and has no family left in this world but Keith.  The story is about loyalty and family, and how far one will go to protect a loved one.

3. Tell us a bit about your influences and just how / why these authors and / or their work inspire(s) you.

 I have loved a good mystery since I was very young.  I remember reading all the Nancy Drew and Hardy Boys books; then I moved on to Louisa May Alcott, J.R.R. Tolkien, Mary Higgins Clark, Robert Ludlum, Tom Clancy, Stephen King, Nora Roberts—just to name a few.  I think all have influenced me, as well as the classics—I was a literature major in college.  I love an expertly written, well-told story. 

4. How did the seeds of this story come to you?  

I have to credit my husband for that.  He was part-owner in an aircraft repair shop.  I spent many a day watching him work on airplanes at the small airfield, and watching the planes take off and land.  The main plotline gelled, though, after reading a news article.

5. Which five books would you want with you if you were stranded on a desert island? 

Hopefully, I am stranded with my Kindle that I have just loaded with: The Lord of the Rings Trilogy, for fantasy; a hot new thriller, whichever is out at the time; a couple of romantic suspense stories, for heat and adventure; and The Complete Works of William Shakespeare.  Between the five of those, I should have lots of characters to keep me company! 

6. Who was your first book crush? (Or if you’ve never had a book crush then who is your favourite character to read about?) 

Other than Nancy Drew, it has to be Jo in Little Women. I read Little Women in sixth grade, and had the opportunity to play Jo in our eighth grade production.  Jo was a tough young woman who gave me the idea that I could be a writer, too.  

7. Let’s imagine that your book’s getting turned into a movie / TV series. Woo! Which actors can you envision playing the lead roles?  

Okay, this question gave me pause.  I’ve honestly thought about it for twenty-four hours and decided I would just have to do a casting call.  I guess I’ve created rather individual characters and I would need to find just the right person to play them—strength with compassion; stubbornness with humility; softness and beauty with a steel core.  I had originally thought of Tom Cruise for Everett, (of course, who wouldn’t), but I think he’s getting a little too old for my hero now, and given the latest news of the breakup of TomKat, probably not such a good choice!  I tell you what, for those of you who read the book, if you come up with any suggestions, please let me know!

8. What do you like to do in your free time (when you’re not reading or writing)? 

I enjoy swimming, travelling around the country in my RV, and golfing.  I really enjoy getting away from the computer and out into the fresh air.  There’s nothing like smacking a golf ball around the course to get your frustrations out when you’re working out a plot point.

9. If you could visit your destination of choice, which plane would you be on in the morning?  

Italy.  I have a painting of a quaint little seaside town hanging above the fireplace in my family room.  Wouldn’t it be great if I could just wiggle my nose like Samantha in bewitched, or get into the transporter like Kirk in Star Trek and whalah!  I’m there!  The truth is, I’m not crazy about flying for eight hours.  But maybe someday…

10. What’s your least favourite chore to do around the house? 


11. Does bacon make everything taste better? 

I try to eat healthy, so I don’t use bacon very often (because I have to leave room for cake!)  However, broccoli salad just doesn’t taste right without the real thing, and an “LT” doesn’t cut it either!

12. Anything else you’d like to share with us all? Extra points if you make us giggle!

As for influence for characters, my husband’s co-workers swear he was my main influence for Drake, the intense, hot Irish/Italian hero in my previous novel, heartbeats.  My husband’s response?  He just smiles.  Mine?  I swear it isn’t so, (at least not entirely ); but I mustn’t protest too much, because I think he actually enjoys the comparison!

Thank you for taking the time to share this with us. I wish you the best of luck with your future career as a published writer and look forward to seeing the book you churn out next!

The author:

I write, basically, because I just can’t help myself. I can't resist the challenge of taking the intriguing characters and storylines that pop into my head and fleshing them out into compelling manuscripts. Romantic suspense is a natural to me, because it allows me to combine my love of a good mystery with a passionate love story. It also lets me express my appreciation for the outdoors in the settings which I recreate on the page.

My first novel, heartbeats, is a story of romance and danger set against the background of busy Chicago and the quiet, rural cornfields of northern Illinois. heartbeats has garnered numerous awards, including RWA Golden Heart Finalist for Best Romantic Suspense Novel and Best First Book by First Coast Romance Writers.

In freefall, my second novel, danger and suspense are juxtaposed against the tranquil valley of Sylvan Lake (fictitious) in the Kettle Moraine Forest and the sun-dappled waters of Door County, Wisconsin.

When I’m not sketching characters or working out plot problems, you might find me on the golf course working on my handicap. I also enjoy traveling around the country seeking out new settings for my novels with my husband and my empty nest puppies, Ginger and Nikute.

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The giveaway:

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1 comment:

  1. Rea, I'm so glad you liked Freefall. Yes, the Wisconsin countryside is quite quaint, that's why I thought the small country airport would be a great site for drama! Happy Reading. susan


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