Wednesday, November 11, 2020

Welcome, Susan Furlong

 Thank you to Jennifer for inviting me to be on her blog today and letting me talk about being the new kid.

I’ve been the new kid quite a bit in my life. My dad worked in women’s ready-to-wear clothing, buying and selling for major department stores. He was well-respected, but he could only work for someone for about two years before he told them off, and that meant another move. He always had another job ready to go, and so I’d be the new kid again!

After I married, I moved to my husband’s small town, and again I was the new kid. Greg had lived there all his life, along with his entire extended family, so I was “Greg’s City Wife” for quite a while. I taught school in that town while Greg commuted to a nearby larger city, and after a time he became “Susan’s Husband.”

Now I’m the new kid again in this world of book publishing. Like most of you who are reading this blog, I’ve been a writer all my life. Stories float around in my head all the time, and I’ve put a number of them on paper. However, once I decided to try official publishing, the entire game changed. I knew nothing about the “secrets” that other writers and publishers seemed to know, and I learned the hard way. Rejections were commonplace and acceptances few, but over the years I learned.

My writing itself became better each time an agent or editor replied with even the slightest amount of encouragement. I spent time online checking out what else I should know, and I paid to send my work to a freelance editor, and her advice was invaluable. 

I sent my work to The Wild Rose Press who accepted my first book, Steadfast Will I Be, right away, but little did I know I had a lot more to learn. My editor, Eilidh MacKenzie, is terrific at improving my writing, catching plot holes, and checking on historical facts, but when it came to marketing my book, advice about promotion overwhelmed me. I did my best with book signings, email posts, and, being ignorant about social media, hired smarter people than I to get a website up and running and to make regular Facebook posts.

Now I discover I am the new kid again with my second book, By Promise Made.  I’m new to the world of blogging, but am so grateful to other authors who are willing to encourage us new kids. 

I wonder if Nora Roberts or James Patterson ever felt like the new kids.





She wants to take off his head! He wants to win her heart! 


All Hugh Cullane wants to do is to return home to the Highlands after delivering a message of betrothal from the English king to four-year-old Queen Mary of Scotland. What he doesn’t count on is Katherine Payne, Mary’s guardian, who in rejecting the marriage proposal, orders him beheaded and his head sent back to England in a jar. Nor does he count on falling in love with her. 


Katherine, trained to protect Queen Mary at all cost, sacrifices any expectation of a personal life, but the handsome rogue carrying the despised message of marriage unsettles her single-minded sense of duty. Now trapped on the battlefield between the English and Scottish armies, she must escape with Mary. Hugh, knowing that Katherine is the woman he needs to counterbalance his untamed spirit, joins her as they are chased by men determined to murder Mary in their own quest for power. 




“Believe me, mistress, I mean ye no harm,” he said. “I am a man of my word, and if ye will honor me with one kiss, I would be truly grateful. I’m no’ greedy.” He had said these words often enough before, and he had always received that kiss. Holding her with a relaxed, steady gaze, he said, “One kiss from the sweetness of yer lips is all I ask, nothing more.” 

He lowered his lips until he felt her body heat on his face as he murmured in husky tones, “Just one kiss to remember for the rest of my life.” 

Locking eyes with her, he waited until she nodded ever so slightly. Then he kissed her, tenderly. She tasted like warm honey. A whimpering sigh left her throat that encouraged him to lean ever closer so his tongue could gently wet and separate her full lips. She opened her mouth a bit and kissed him back. 

Lifting his head, he looked at her curiously. Something stirred inside his chest, something he’d never felt before, and he didn’t quite understand it. All he knew for sure was that just one kiss from this beautiful woman would never be enough. He wanted to know everything about her. He wanted to hear her voice, to see her smile, and to find out all about her. Who she was and who she wanted to be. 

He wanted this woman to know his secrets, to hear his wishes. That itch inside him, the one he could never quite scratch, the one that made him restless and careless, eased and softened. Although this wasn’t his first kiss, it somehow mattered more than any other kiss he’d ever had. 

He kissed her again. His tongue darted along her teeth and then into the juicy cavern of her mouth. She did not refuse him as he suckled her tender lips. She responded to his kiss, pulling him near, offering more of her mouth. She moaned quietly and ever so slightly eased her body closer to his as her hands worked their way up his back. 

Pausing briefly in the most delicious kiss he’d ever had, he whispered, “My name is Hugh Cullane.” He brushed his lips against hers again. “What should I call ye, my beautiful princess?” Softly he licked her lips with his tongue. 

“Call me whatever ye wish,” she said, locking her fingers into his hair and snapping his head and shoulders away from her with unexpected strength. She swung her right fist squarely into his jaw, and after a quick jerk of her knee into his groin, he fell to the ground, coughing and gagging. With one last powerful kick to the ribs, she ran madly away around the hill. 

As he struggled to take a full breath, a sharp jab of pain bit through his side. Letting his head drop to the ground, he rolled over onto his back. 

“Oh, my Lord!” he said aloud between coughs. “I do believe I have offended the lady.” 



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  1. Welcome to the blog, Susan! Best of luck with your book.

    1. Thanks so much for having me and giving me a chance to tell about being a writer.

  2. Thank you for sharing your story with us. 🦉

    1. Donna, Thanks for dropping by and for your support. Prayers for your mom.

  3. Wonderful post, Susan. I've been in this industry for 8 years, and I'm forever learning (and believing I'm the new kid, too) about my writing craft and marketing. I'm wishing you all the best! Your book sounds intriguing and one I'm putting on my "to-read" list.

    1. Mary, Thanks for letting me know that I'm not alone! I hope to grow in both my writing and my knowledge of how to "get the word out."

  4. Susan - I'm gonna go out on a limb and say I do think Nora felt like the new kind once upon a time!!! hee hee

  5. Peggy, I wish I could have talked to them then and see what they learned! Thanks for stopping by Jennifer's blog!

  6. Sounds like you've got a terrific book to introduce the 'new kid' :) Wishing you all the best with it and with all the ones to come, Susan.

  7. Barbara, Thanks for stopping in to read the blog, and greatly appreciate your good wishes!