Friday, December 5, 2014

My Review Of From Now On by Susan A. Royal

Back Page blurb:

     Griffin has traveled across centuries to reunite with the woman he loves, but he and Erin may not get their ‘happy ever after’. Not if Lady Isobeil has anything to do with it. She forces Griffin to leave Erin behind and travel to eerie Manx Island. When he goes missing, Erin and his friends set out to find him. Followed by his strong-willed sister, Kateryn, they ride to Swansea and secure passage with the notorious Captain Akin.
     Erin sees firsthand how the island earned its dark reputation when she battles freakish weather, encounters a race of little people known as “Prowlies”, and experiences ghosts of the long departed. She discovers “ley lines” crossing the island’s mountain peak and making time travel possible. 
     Yet these obstacles pale in comparison to the secrets Erin uncovers while determined to rescue the man she loves.


     I am a stranger in this world, even though I’ve traveled this way before.
     Fate and not design brought me the first time. It hurled me into a distant future, with no idea how or why, taking me from an existence dependent upon modern technology to a place where people fear such things and those who use them. While searching for my way home from this harsh and sometimes violent world, my admiration for its inhabitants who valued honor and duty above all else grew into admiration and respect. I found myself drawn to one in particular, a man who saved me more than once. Only I never expected to fall in love with him.
      Torn between my feelings and a longing for home, I returned to my time with only vague memories of my experience. My life went back to normal, but part of me sensed the loss of something more precious than anything I’d regained. Until one day, I saw him again.
     This time I’ve come by choice, and it is where I’m going to stay. Fate willing. 

My Review: I loved this book. Time Travel. Mystery. Romance. What is there not to love. Sir Griffin is missing. Erin along with some friends set sail to search for him on Manx Island. Along her journey, Erin runs into many surprises, mystery, and danger. Loved the ending. Thanks, Susan, for good read. 

  1. Tell us about your book and how the story came to be.  

When Not Long Ago was finished, I began submitting it for publication, with no plans to make it into a series. A total newbie, I figured one step at a time. Tiny baby steps. Fast forward a couple of years, a lot of rejections and a lot of revisions. After I signed with MuseItUp, my daughter, Carrie, read the manuscript to get a feel for the book trailer she was creating.
She read the last page and called me immediately. “That’s not the end, is it?”
I felt as though I’d resolved all the major questions and ended the story in a good place. “Didn’t you like it?”
“Yeah, but…you can’t stop there.”
“What do you mean?”
“Erin and Griffin’s story isn’t finished. I want to know what happens next!”
And that’s how it became a series. In Not Long Ago, I pictured a young woman in her twenties hurrying down a busy city sidewalk. One her way past a coffee shop, she notices a handsome stranger through the window. Their eyes meet and what she sees leaves her reeling. Not only does she recognize him, she knows things about the man…but how? Who is he?

From there, the story could have gone anywhere. Turns out it did. The idea of time travel has always fascinated me. Imagine getting up close and personal with history. Experiencing what life is really like in another time. My main characters, Erin and Griffin, meet and fall in love in a medieval world.      

From Now On takes up where it leaves off. Some of my favorite characters from the first book are back. Arvo: the tall gangly young man with a disreputable shock of red hair who becomes Erin’s good friend and confidant. Sir Edevane: Griffin’s fellow knight and friend. Kat: Griffin’s fiesty little sister.

  1. What three words best describe your main character?  Smart, Independent, Determined, 

  1. Do you have a method for creating your characters, their names and what do you     think makes them believable?
Sometimes I have trouble finding the ‘right’ name for a character. I may write two or three chapters without naming them. Sometimes I even change the names. From there, they evolve, depending on their circumstances.

  1. Do your characters follow your plot path or do they take on a life of their own? Do you keep them in check?
Of course I don’t keep them in check. Where’s the fun in that? LOL In Not Long Ago, I introduce a character early on who was originally intended to stay on the sidelines and appear from time to time, but only when needed.  “Along with a disreputable shock of orange hair, the gangly, young man possessed an ingratiating smile and a pleasant manner.”  His name was Arvo, and he was the tailor’s son my time traveling heroine, Erin, met on her way to the castle, where she hoped to find answers to why she had been transported to this medieval time.  In spite of his charm, Erin found out right away Arvo had another side to his personality when she fell victim to his irresponsible attitude. “The minute the two men left our side, Arvo winked, telling me he’d see me later, and disappeared. His escape was no doubt one of the reasons he and his father clashed so often”.  Even so, she couldn’t help but like him, because of his wit and cheerfulness, plus the fact that he was privy to castle gossip. His character evolved until he became an integral part of my story.  When I decided Erin needed a confidant, he fit the bill.  Later on I needed to invent a way for her to attend the Masquerade ball, once again, the tailor’s son was perfect.  His character expanded and his personality gained dimension.  Arvo kept showing up, and before I knew it, he became a well-rounded character who made my story even better by his presence.

  1. Have you ever suffered from writer’s block? If so, how did you overcome it?

When I can’t seem to make myself finish a chapter, I make myself get up and do something else. Wash clothes, vacuum, take a walk outside. Busy work. Sometimes I take a break and watch television or pick up a book. The plot is still in the back of my mind and somewhere along the line, I find a resolution. Sometimes I leave the scene completely and write something that happens later on in the story. It usually gets my mind working.

  1. What types of books do you like to read?  Time travel, obviously. Apocalyptic and Post-apocalyptic. Paranormal romance. Alternate history. Contemporary fantasy.

  1. What do you like to do when you aren’t writing?  I love a good movie. I love listening to music. I read. I love garage sales and flea markets and repurposing.  I love to try out new recipes.

  1. What’s next for your writing? Are you working on a new story? I’m working on Book 3 of my It’s About Time Series. There’s still more story to tell.

  1. What’s the best piece of writing advice you’ve received? If there’s something wrong with your story, you can always fix it.  You are the author after all.

  1. Where can readers find you and your books?

Xander’s Tangled Web (fantasy, mystery)
(Due out in Fall, 2015)
In My Own Shadow (fantasy, adventure, romance)
Not Long Ago (time travel, adventure, romance)
Not Long Ago book trailer
All books available at MuseItUp, Amazon, B&N, Goodreads

  Born in west Texas and raised in south Texas, Susan makes her home in a 100-year-old farmhouse in a small east Texas town that comes complete with a ghost who has been known to harmonize with her son when he plays guitar. 

     She is married and the mother of six (she counts her children’s spouses as her own) and five grandchildren who are all unique and very special. Her family is rich with characters, both past and present. Her grandmother shared stories of living on a farm in Oklahoma Territory with three sisters and three brothers and working as a telephone operator in the early 20th century.  Her father told her about growing up in San Antonio in the depression, and she experienced being a teenager during WWII through her mother’s eyes.
     When she isn’t writing, she still has a day job, working in the public schools in east Texas as a secretary. She does her best to keep up with her grandchildren. Music and painting are two of her passions. Susan is a firm believer in getting what you want without breaking the bank. She loves to bargain shop anywhere there’s a sale and began repurposing long before it was popular. She paints, crafts and sews. Her office/craft/sewing room is littered with her latest projects.

     Susan loves to take her readers through all kinds of adventures with liberal doses of romance. So far, she’s written two books in her It’s About Time series, Not Long Ago and From Now On. They are time travel adventures with romance about two people who fall in love despite the fact they come from very different worlds. In My Own Shadow is a Fantasy adventure/romance. Look for her books at MuseItUp/Amazon/B&N. You can also find Odin’s Spear, one of her short stories featured in a Quests, Curses, and Vengeance anthology, Martinus Publishing, available on Amazon.

     Want to know more? Visit or for a peek inside this writer’s mind and see what she’s up to. You never know what new world she’s going to visit next.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks so much for having me again, Kay, and I'm so glad you liked From Now On.