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Wednesday, January 1, 2020
THE REAL MEN SERIES
My First Edit
I remember telling my adult nephew one day about the process of bringing a story to birth, detailing the editorial process to him. I told him about the endless edits, especially the developmental ones, where your story morphs and changes so it’s the best it can be.
He was shocked. His jaw dropped, and I saw him mentally file it into the category of-oh, this truly CAN’T BE. I remember him saying to me - So then, it’s not really your story!
And nothing I said could convince him otherwise.
I shook my head, thought no, no. It’s necessary. We’re working hard to deliver the reader the best experience possible. We’re working diligently to deliver on the promise Holly Lisle talks about, that in effect is the contract each writer has with their reader, mainly (paraphrased):
I will entertain you. I will honor the time you’ve entrusted to me from your life, and make the time you spend with me worthwhile.
And then, as I took in his reaction, I remembered the very first time one of my stories was edited. And how I didn’t like it very much either.
And yes. It was in KINDERGARTEN.
My school was great in that there was a big focus on giving kids the experience of being published. (At least, that's how I remember it.) I learned years later, that it was actually an experimental school. Possibly that's why I loved it so much. It was hands down fun. Unlike home, which to be honest, wasn’t. I’m okay with that. Times were different and people were working hard just to get by, so school was a great diversion and a different world. And a welcome one.
Our elementary school published a yearbook annually that was a collection of stories and poetry from the kids in grades 1 to 6. And thrill of thrills! I wrote a poem, in my little kiddy kindergarten style, and it was included. I was ecstatic. (Now that I think back on it, I probably dictated it to my teacher, and she scribed it. ‘Cause I could write my name and address because my parents insisted on teaching me how to do that before I entered kindergarten, and that was about it.)
In this poem, which was rather long, I detailed the adventures of a boy named Ian. It went something like this.
Ian played in the playground.
Ian ran in the forest.
You get the gist. Lots of active voice there, and Ian was crazy busy this one long day, and I captured all of his adventures. At least a page or a page and a half’s worth, in short, punchy sentences.
The punch line, at the end of it all, short and sweet, was:
The next morning, Ian was dead.
It seemed like a totally fitting ending to the story. I'm not sure I thought it out like this, but now as an adult I think-yeah. Ian was nuts. He did way too much, therefore, the result. Dude was gonzo.
But my teacher said that was unacceptable. Possibly coming from a kindergarten student? Not sure. Too macabre? Again, dunno.
But she insisted the story end:
The next morning, Ian was dead tired.
I remember being aghast. This was my story! And I knew he wasn't dead tired. The addition of that one word changed the whole conclusion. Ian was dead. Not dead tired.
Anyway, the teacher ruled. Ian got to live.
And even now, I know he’s laughing at me, from that nether world that the characters we dream up actually do inhabit.
So even though I know better, I get what my nephew felt that day, and said. Because a little part of kindergarten me - agrees. :)
(And thankfully, ‘realistic me’ welcomes, and actually loves edits! Really. LOL!)
The town of Jack's Bay, in northern Ontario, Canada, straddles cottage country and city living, and does it well.
But more importantly, it's a strong community. Home to a group of men that have served together in the army reserve. Brothers, with an unbreakable bond, as well as determined women.
Friends and army reserve brothers to these men of Jack's Bay are the men of Golden, British Columbia. A fictional town, with quirky characters set in the Rocky Mountain trench, life is different in the mountains. Yet family, brotherhood and love...are the same.
Come meet the cowboy, the ex-hockey player, the dark-net computer genius, and the band of Canadian military reservists who served together, and the strong women they fall in love with.
Real Men Book 5
by Susan Saxx
Genre: Small Town Military Dark Romantic Suspense
Publication Date: February 7, 2018
Too many secrets. Too many dangers. And he's got a mission to accomplish.
Eli Austin is going off the grid. Too long in the underground employ of men he'd sooner spit on than obey, his master plan for breaking free is intact. But before he goes, he has to appease his heart and soul one last time. He's got to see the house he and his high school sweetheart, Tish, almost bought. Relive the Christmas they never had, before he walked out on her, into the dark night without a word, so many years ago.
Tish Taylor's been through it all. After that horrendous Christmas, she moved on, married. But the rebound is over, and she's newly divorced. She's going back to where she had it all - once - to spend a solitary evening in the abandoned house where three years ago, they were going to start their new life. The sweet old house that called to them, the life that was theirs. She's got to reclaim the woman she was then - full of dreams, and promises. So she can move on, once and for all.
So they both set out to that old house, now in the worst part of town.
But neither of them counted on what they'd find...
It Started With a Candy Cane
Real Men Book 6
Genre: Sweet Romance
Publication Date: December 15, 2017
She's city. The more designer and fluffier, the better.
He's a closed-off butcher in a small northern Canadian town.
Emily Gates is hip. If a bag's got more than three zeros in its price tag - she's in. Cream is her favorite color. And her new role as junior city planner in the city of Toronto has her excited beyond all reason. For the gal with the troubled past - something she carefully keeps a secret - it's all about building community now. Even though she loves working and living in the upscale, trendy area just east of Bloor and Yonge.
Rufus Richardson isn't fancy and his job is dirty. And he's always trying to slay the damn dragons, even when no one wants him to. He should settle for a local gal, one who's used to country and mosquitos and wild animals poking around the family homestead. Instead, the moment he sees the vivacious city beauty, his heart tumbles, and his warrior's sword appears. But she doesn't need him to slay any dragons, and lets him know in no uncertain terms.
But when the life she's carefully curated falls apart suddenly and she goes off into the dark northern night alone searching for the meaning that's always eluded her, they find themselves thrown together, the night before Christmas Eve. On Ruf's annual infamous northern Candy Cane Run, and...
And this Christmas, it all started with a candy cane.
Real Temptation/ Special Delivery
Real Men Book 7
Genre: Erotic Romance
Publication Date: May 11, 2018
She's high society. He's blue collar.
And he's only got one night to prove to her... blue collar is better.
WARNING: Graphic language, swearing, and frank sexual descriptions.
Oh. And chocolate truffles, velcro'd bondage straps, Manolos, and a bit of grime.
She wears a delivery uniform, but it won't be for long. Alex Jordan is determined. She'll work hard - do anything - to get her family back to its former wealth and standing in Toronto society. Once a solid member of the tennis club set, everything fell apart when her father was convicted of white collar crime. Life is harsh now, but Intimate Deliveries, her small company and brainchild of a delivery service is the vehicle to restore their lives. She'll build her brand, work her fingers to the bone, and she knows she'll achieve her goal. Eventually. She has to.
But she's also got her eye on rich and handsome Montreal playboy Luc Etalier. If she scores the heartthrob as a husband, her dreams will be realized all the faster. She'll get them all back to their former glory and ease of life - including her father, once he's released - one way or another.
He's blue collar, has sworn off alcohol, and she's lit his dreams of something more. Rand Peters has watched - and salivated - every time the brash young woman has come in to their machine shop to work the account. She's fueled his sexual fantasies for over a year, but she's also inspired him to go back to university part-time and work on that business degree. If she can go for what she wants, a former rich girl now in the trenches with the rest of them, so can he. And he's also seen something in her - working so hard in a life that's foreign to her - that touches his heart.
But a relationship? She'd never go for him - though something eggs him on to try. First real chance he gets, he will. He has to.
Now it's New Year's Eve, and he's there alone. Alex comes in with a delivery, ready to do her job and then run to her glamorous NYE party with old friends. But miracle of miracles - it's the wrong part. They'll have to wait for the new one. Together...
A New Year's Eve Erotic Romance
Real Men Book 9
Genre: Hot Contemporary Sports Romance
Publication Date: December 20, 2019
He’s adored by women–and men–all over the world. The raw, gritty NHL player, Dante Knight.
But life changed abruptly, a year ago. Now Dante’s no longer interested in the limelight, or in the panties strewn on the ice. With the same focus he applied to his stunning NHL career, he’s interested in only one woman….
Kelley Dunham. The girl who loved him, way back when.
It’ll be easy, though. She’s crazy for him, right?
Puppy love for the moody Dante consumed Kelly Dunham’s formative years. But she unravelled when the NHL hopeful abruptly left their tiny Canadian mountain town, after their first—and only—night together. She moved on, soul flaming from the shock. Worse, everyone knew.
Time for a change.
Now she’s ready for the playgirl life. Stupid Dante had the right idea, and she’s going to adopt his credo. Sex for nothin’ and her guys for free.
But when Dante reappears in a blizzard and they’re snowed in, and he’s finally ready to be the man she always knew he could be…
She stands firm. Nothing’s changing her new-found mission.
Let the games begin.
A Real Man
Real Men Book 1
Real Men Book 2
It Started on a Back Road
Real Men Book 3
Real Men Book 4
Real Men Book 8
Hi there! I'm SO glad we've connected!
I write books set in the small towns and big cities of Canada. Right now I'm writing the Real Men series - first installment set in Jack's Bay, northern Ontario - a place I <3 so much!
My heroes and heroines haven't had an easy time of it. But they take what life dishes out, and somehow, with grit, determination and heart - especially heart - they transform it into gold. Their gold.
Their stories - like life! - range from sweet to sexy, contemporary to suspenseful.
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And welcome...to Jack's Bay, northern Ontario, to the upcoming sister series in B.C., and to the rancher (#1), the tormented dark-net genius (#5), the 'hit rock-bottom' ex-Seal (#4), and the ex-star hockey player (Coming Dec. 2018) - all military reservists, and the passionate, heroic women they fall for.
REAL MEN is the series - get to know them all at www.susansaxx.com.
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