Message From The Author
Susan Carroll's THE BRIDE FINDER
Susan Carroll has waited a long time to dedicate a book to her mother's memory.
Every time she finished a book, she questioned if it was the one she would dedicate to her mom (who died a few months after Susan's wedding day in 1974). Twelve years and 18 books passed (many of which won prestigious awards) as she built a large following among fans and critics. Yet she still could not find a book to live up to her exacting criteria. "I wasn't willing to dedicate just any book. The book had to be special," Susan says. "It never felt right." Until now.
Her latest novel, The Bride Finder, has finally met her standard. And, appropriately, the book comes out in the same month as Mother's Day.
Fawcett, her publisher, agrees that her book is extraordinary and will back up their assessment by publishing The Bride Finder in hardcover. Fawcett has tough standards too (like making money), and publishing a book in hardcover can be a risky move. "This book deserved to be in hardcover," says editor Shauna Summers. "I was blown away when I read her complete [manuscript]. This is definitely Susan's break-out book." Susan took some convincing. "To me, it was just like any story I've written," Susan says. "I struggled to hold on to the sense of wonder I felt as a child and even as a teen. Kim kept me going, she kept telling me 'this is magic.'"
"She was out of her mind!" recalls fellow author Kimberly Cates, Susan's critique partner and best friend. "When you are writing, I guess all you see are all the flaws. But this was the most perfect love story I've ever read.
"I knew how special The Bride Finder was from the very beginning," Cates continues. "The concept of a family with psychic powers-there was just something about it."
"When I finally got to the end, when I saw it in galleys," Susan grudgingly admits, "I realized that for once I really communicated what was in my head. But I'm constantly wanting to rewrite and rewrite," she qualifies.
This Georgian-set tale spotlights the St. Legers of Cornwall, who are a mystical family. The Bride Finder has many of the characteristics of an original fairy tale. It has the 'once upon a time' feel and a hero with magical powers living in a remote castle who sends a mystical "bride finder" to locate his fated mate. Madeline, that self-same bride, turns out to be a practical-minded young woman who doesn't believe in magic.
Susan has often used otherworldly elements in her novels, from the overt, like ghosts, to simply an uncanny emotional connection between strangers. Does that mean she is interested in the supernatural outside of fiction?
"Yeah, I am, which is really odd," she responds. "My mindset has always been much more like Madeline's-sensible. But I'm still attracted to the topic. There's more to the human mind than we presently know." She pauses for a moment before commenting: "I guess I'm like Harry Houdini. He wanted to believe in real magic, but exposed a lot of frauds in his search for proof."
Fawcett has published Susan from the beginning of her career (Winterbourne, a medieval she wrote as Susan Coppula, and The Lady Who Hated Shakespeare, a Regency, were both published in '87). Since her last historical in '95, Susan has written only one other book, a Silhouette Desire. That's a long gap in this industry!
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