Susan Mallery Discusses UNTIL WE TOUCH

Susan MalleryUNTIL WE TOUCH1. In what ways do you think every woman can relate to Larissa Owens?

Larissa is a sweetie. She’s not rich; she’s working as a personal assistant and personal masseuse for Jack. She gets to go to work in yoga pants and touch sexy guys all over. (Dream job!) UNTIL WE TOUCH is my nod to the boss/secretary story, one of my favorite kinds of romance.
Larissa has a pure heart, and when she sees someone hurting, she doesn’t just think about helping. She does help, with whatever resources are available to her. Fortunately for her, since she’s been working for Jack, he has allowed her to use his wealth and connections in service to her causes. In fact, he likes it. With Larissa using his money to try to save the world, he can feel like a part of something without actually putting himself out there. It’s a very comfortable arrangement for them both… until Larissa’s mom tells Jack that Larissa is in love with him, and everything changes.

2. What about Jack McGarry makes him like no leading man we’ve ever seen before in Fool’s Gold?

I think what makes people relatable—both in fiction and in life—are our imperfections and our vulnerabilities. From the outside, Jack’s life appears perfect. He’s rich, handsome, famous. He was a pro quarterback who retired on top and is now experiencing the same phenomenal success in the private sector with Score, the PR firm he co-owns.
But Jack has a secret pain that makes him protect himself from feeling too deeply, from caring too much. He lost someone dear to him when he was young, and he felt responsible. The lesson he took from that loss was that it’s safer on the surface.
Larissa works for him, so she knows he’s not a good bet when it comes to relationships. She has watched a string of temporary girlfriends come and go. She even bought the parting gifts. Despite that, despite her better judgment, she likes the man. He’s a good guy, a great friend, and he’s the sexiest man she’s ever met.

3. If UNTIL WE TOUCH were made into a movie, who would you envision playing Jack and Larissa?

I’m going to go with Chris Pine with black hair and Amy Adams as a blonde. (We must keep the Hollywood hairstylists employed!) Both could handle the funny scenes and the moments of honest emotion.
Of course, one of the funniest scenes in the book would probably have to be cut in order to keep the R rating. No spoilers, but I will say that Larissa is a massage therapist, and as their feelings for each other change, new situations—ahem—arise.

4. Larissa keeps her romantic attraction to Jack a secret at first, before her mother spills the beans. Do you think you should ever keep that secret from a friend you’re falling for, or is it better to confess your love?

In the case of Larissa, she didn’t realize she was keeping a secret… she kept her feelings a secret even from herself. Until her mother’s assertion, Larissa didn’t think she was in love with Jack. Just by saying those words, Larissa’s mom changed everything. These two friends and colleagues are suddenly thinking of each other in a whole new way. Which is inconvenient, to say the least.

As for whether someone in real life should keep her feelings for a friend secret or confess all, I’d have to say it really depends on the situation. Friendship is the best foundation for lifelong love, but not all friends-to-lovers stories end happily. I think you’d need to examine your heart and ask yourself, honestly, what is the best action for you to take.

5. You have written well over 100 books. How do you keep developing such unique storylines and characters that keep your fans coming back for more?

It’s a challenge! The truth is, every love story is unique. We all know dozens of couples who met, fell in love, and married. The framework may be similar—first glance, first kiss, deepening feelings, declaration of love—but the nuances are different. Which means that as a writer, I need to start with the nuances and build from there. What makes these two individuals unique and uniquely suited for each other? What events in their past color their actions and emotions today? As I develop their characters, I look for aspects that put them in conflict with each other, but also for aspects that will make them a couple you can believe will make it for the long haul. The conflict has to last nearly the length of the book, but the things they have in common have to take them through the rest of their lives.

6. What do you think is the recipe for a perfect romance novel?

A perfect romance should carry you away from your everyday world and fill you with emotions as you read. When you put down the book before you’re finished, it should call to you. Chores can wait, dinner can wait. It should be a challenge for you to turn off the light to go to sleep, even when it’s way past your bedtime. You should want to read just one more chapter, and then just one more after that, and then just one more until you’re done because you can’t bear to put it down until you know the characters are happy and in love. And when you do finish this perfect romance, you should feel happy, with a renewed feeling of faith in the power of love to overcome all obstacles.

7. What’s next for Fool’s Gold?

Next up, Kenny and Bailey will fall in love in YOURS FOR CHRISTMAS. Readers are in love with Kenny already, started asking for his story right away. He was introduced in WHEN WE MET, and readers could immediately sense that there are hidden depths beneath his happy-go-lucky façade. Kenny is one of Jack’s partners at Score PR. What he wants more than anything is a family, but he was burned badly by an ex. The one thing he won’t do, no matter what, is fall in love with a single mom. And then he meets Bailey…

YOURS FOR CHRISTMAS was originally slated to be an ebook exclusive novella. However, Harlequin has decided to release it simultaneously in print on October 28. It will be printed at the back of the mass market paperback reissue of CHRISTMAS ON 4TH STREET. Both YOURS FOR CHRISTMAS (ebook) and CHRISTMAS ON 4TH STREET combined with YOURS FOR CHRISTMAS (print and ebook) are available for pre-order now.

8. Any fun summer plans?

I’m going to soak in as much of this rare and precious Seattle sunshine as I can before the rainclouds descend again! Seattle in the summertime has to be one of the most beautiful places on the planet. I swear, there are a million shades of green, and every single one of them is on display as we walk the dog around the city.

Fresh Pick | BEFORE WE KISS by Susan Mallery

Fresh Pick for Wednesday, May 28th, 2014 is BEFORE WE KISS by Susan Mallery


Fool’s Gold
Harlequin HQN Books
May 2014
On Sale: May 27, 2014
368 pages
ISBN: 0373778813
EAN: 9780373778812
Kindle: B00HAZ6BHO
Paperback / e-Book
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Romance Contemporary

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Powell’s Books
Indiebound Fresh Book of the Day

Susan Mallery

Before We Kiss
by Susan Mallery

New York Times bestselling sensation Susan Mallery returns to Fool’s Gold, California, where it’s true that sometimes you have to kiss a few frogs… Former pro-football kicker Sam Ridge has notoriously bad luck with women—from cheaters to fame chasers. Still, the gorgeous brunette at the bar in Fool’s Gold looks harmless— until she takes him home and he discovers a room devoted to securing a man, for life.

Dellina Hopkins never guessed that storing gowns from a friend’s bridal boutique would chase away her first and only fling. After her parents died, she skipped her “wild youth” to raise her sisters. She doesn’t want forever from Sam, but one night—all night—would’ve been nice.

His clean getaway gets messy when his firm hires Dellina to plan an event. As long hours lead to late nights, the two succumb to temptation again. Has Sam’s luck finally changed? Or this time, will Dellina be the one to run?

Intriguing twists and turns in another delightful Fool’s Gold romance.

Fabulous, character-driven, sweet & sexy romance!

More fun and games with the folks in Fool’s Gold

Previous Picks

Susan Mallery | My Favorite Cookbooks

Susan MalleryALREADY HOMESusan Mallery has entertained millions of readers with her witty and emotional stories of women and the relationships that move them. In her latest novel, ALREADY HOME, Jenna Stevens, still reeling from a recent divorce, is unpleasantly surprised by the arrival of her birth parents, who seem to want her to feel a family bond immediately. She was perfectly happy with the loving, traditional parents who raised her. Can she learn to love a second mother without damaging her relationship with the woman who raised her? Join Susan’s Members Only area at for exclusive sneak peeks, short stories, and more.

Recently, a friend recommended a cookbook to me. She said the chocolate chip cookie recipe in her favorite cookbook was to die for. Thick, soft, chewy, chocolatey goodness. I’m a sucker for chocolate chip cookies, so I ordered the book.

This is a cookbook for someone who loves cooking. The thing is, though – and I’m letting you in on a big secret here – I don’t love cooking. I understand my friend’s mistake. After all, the heroine of my latest book, ALREADY HOME, is a chef. During the course of the book, she reconnects with her creativity in the kitchen and creates fabulous, innovative recipes such as Jenna’s Mocha Chili and Curry Chicken Enchiladas. I included the chili recipe at the back of ALREADY HOME, and I’ve posted the recipe for Curry Chicken Enchiladas to the recipes page of my website.

In an ideal world, I’d have an invisible personal chef who left delicious food in my oven for me at mealtime. Since that’s not possible, I cook. And I share my original recipes with my readers because they seem to love them, especially the slow cooker recipes. Slow Cooker Cheesy Potatoes seems to be a particular favorite.

When I buy a cookbook, I want quick and easy recipes. I want ingredients I can find easily. I want pictures so I know what the food is supposed to look like when I’m done. My friend’s favorite has virtually no pictures! Plus, they tell you all the variations they tried and why those variations didn’t work. The Fettuccine Alfredo, for example, comes with three full pages of preamble.

I wish I were interested… but I’m not.

My two favorite cookbooks are the TASTE OF HOME COOKBOOK, and Debbie Macomber‘s CEDAR COVE COOKBOOK. They put a checkmark in all my boxes. Easy, fast home cooking with lots of colorful pictures. If that’s the kind of cookbook you enjoy, then I hope you’ll check out my Recipes page, and take a peek at the Mocha Chili recipe at the back of ALREADY HOME.

I will keep my friend’s favorite cookbook, though. The chocolate chip cookies really are out of this world. If you want to know the title of it, send me an email through my website.

Do you love to cook, or is it a chore for you? Do you like to read about cooking in your books? When you do cook, do you prefer a recipe that challenges you, or something quick and easy?

To comment on Susan Mallery’s blog please click here.

SUSAN MALLERY | Turns Out Size Matters After All!


I grew up in Los Angeles, one of the largest, loudest cities in the world. There’s a lot to love about living in a city. The sights, the sounds, the colors are exciting and energizing. No matter what your interests, you can always find classes and groups where you can meet like-minded people.

Then there are the events. Every day, a hundred ways to answer the question, “What should we do today?” Art shows and museums. Live music and theater. Baseball and basketball. (I’ll confess. My answer to the aforementioned question would only be “Let’s go to the game” if there was a high-end luxury spa around the corner named The Game.)

I’m big on luxury, and I enjoy instant gratification. I like that cities are on the cutting edge of technology. I like thorough cell phone coverage. When smart phones move to 5G, city people will be the first to be wowed by everything they can do.

I love living in a cultural melting pot. I love walking down the street and not understanding all the languages I hear. I love the cosmopolitan feeling that comes from mingling with people from all over the world. Immigrants bring the colors and fashions and attitudes and flavors from their home countries, and we city dwellers get to benefit from the influx.

Speaking of flavors… great restaurants are right up there at the top of my list of the joys of living in a city. What a great excuse to slip on a fabulous pair of heels and my best jewelry. As a girl, I loved playing dress-up, and that hasn’t changed.


You knew a “but” was coming, didn’t you?

But there’s a lot to love about small towns, too, which is why I chose to set my new series in Fool’s Gold, California, population 43,412. A small town, but not tiny. The Fool’s Gold series is something new for me, a series with no end in sight. The first book, Chasing Perfect, was released yesterday. There will be two more Fool’s Gold books later this year, three next year, and I hope to continue after that.

The thing I love best about small towns, especially those towns that are not a suburb of a large city, is the strong sense of community. When you see the same people at the grocery store and the soccer field and the dentist’s office, you get to know them a lot better.

Readers will enjoy the same feeling with the people of Fool’s Gold, I hope, as they get to visit with some of the same characters from book to book. You can meet some of the people of Fool’s Gold at Lots of fun freebies on the website, too! I’d love to hear what you think of it.

In small towns, people introduce themselves to their new neighbors. Cities are more transitory. People come, people go. It’s all part of the ebb and flow, the pulse of the city. In small towns, people are more likely to settle in for a good, long while. Often even for life.

I couldn’t make Fool’s Gold tiny, though. It needed to be large enough to support at least a few great restaurants. That’s the one thing this city girl can’t imagine living without.

Are you a city mouse or a country mouse? What’s the largest city you’ve lived in? What’s the smallest town you’ve lived in? How many times in your life have you moved? (I’m not sure I can count as high as the number of times I’ve moved!) What do you think is the ideal sized town, and why?

To comment on Turns Out Size Matters After All! please click here.

Susan Mallery | What do our characters wish for?

In the last hours before college graduation, I was saved from life as an accountant by a continuing education course titled “How to Write a Romance Novel.” Not that there’s anything wrong with being an accountant. It’s just that, for me, the infinite realm of numbers couldn’t possibly compare to the infinite realm of characters.

Numbers can’t surprise you by making bad decisions. Numbers don’t have quirks that make you laugh. (Except for 43,770. For some reason, 43,770 cracks me up every time.)

But “infinite” can feel overwhelming to a writer facing a blank page, and I’m always on the lookout for a new tool to get to know my characters better. I think I found one in Debbie Macomber’s wonderful book, Twenty Wishes. Anne Marie, a young widow, is stuck in a rut of grief and decides to make a list of twenty wishes, hoping this will give her something to look forward to and will restore her positive outlook on life. The bubble wrap popping scene is a hoot! I want to have a party like that.

What would I learn, I wondered, if I did this exercise from the point of view of my characters? What new insights would I gain? I mean, we’re talking twenty wishes here – that’s going to dig pretty deep. And we’re not talking Miss America-style “world peace” kinds of wishes. No, these need to be things the character can impact and achieve. Come to think of it, “world peace” might work as a wish for one of my monarchs. A king can refuse to start a war, right? But not for the everyday folks.

Click here to read the rest of Susan’s blog and to leave a comment.

Sara Reyes | Do Special Events Make for a Better Relationship with Artists Creation?

Sara ReyesAnd by artists I am referring to authors and film makers this time around. We’ll leave the musicians, painters, sculptors, and programmers out of the conversation. If you know me well, you’ll find I consider almost all producers of a “thing” including code as “creative artists” but I will not digress today. Back to the topic of “does meeting the artist make you like or appreciate the work better or less?”

Here’s the deal. Today we’re having a high tea with Susan Mallery. It’s a special private tea with just our book club and Susan. We’ve been looking forward and planning this event for months and no matter what happens it will be a day we’ll remember for a long time. Seriously, we still talk about dinners with authors from ten or twelve years ago, reminiscing over the time spent with them, their books we’ve read since and for those who didn’t attend, lamenting over their missed opportunity. In some way that private time spent with the author gives them a very special relationship with our reading group and individuals enduring long past the actual event.

Earlier this week, I went to a film viewing of The Maiden Heist at the USA Film Festival in Dallas. The director, Peter Hewitt and producer Rob Paris were in attendance and introduced the film, then talked about it after the showing. I went because I adore Christopher Walken and I wanted something fun to lighten up my week. Although the film was an amusing escape from my reality, the addition of the filmmakers created a sense of “specialness” that will last a long time. When “The Maiden Heist” goes to wide distribution (it’s tentatively scheduled for a fall release) I’ll spend another $10 to see it plus will probably buy it in DVD. I’ve already bored my husband and daughter and a few friends about it (including you, dear blog readers) and don’t see myself stopping anytime soon. Go see it, a great ensemble comedy with a stellar cast including Christopher Walken, Morgan Freeman (God), William H. Macy and Marcia Gay Harden–her Rose is wonderful! It’s what happens when the forces that be try to take away a person’s obsession!

Back to today, our event with Susan will make her upcoming trilogy very special to the members of the DFW Tea group, even besides its Texas setting. Even the ones who can’t come today are even beginning their laments (as well as directives to get books signed, sending along stuff, etc). Those of us there will probably fall in love again with Susan and will reminisce for years to come about our special day and tea with her. And she’ll make new fans out of people who probably never met her before.

So what is it that makes works of art even more “special?” Is it the interaction on a personal level you have with the creator? Perhaps at a signing or talk? Or a private function? Or with the ubiquitous Internet, an email message, a group chat, a blog comment, or even, gasp, a Twitter? Or does all these up-close-and-personals turn you off? I know that liking, loving and hating are just different degrees of the same thing, so perhaps too close is too much?

Anyway, to reward your efforts this weekend, we’ll be giving away to someone who comments on either this or Sandi’s blog on Sunday a very special grab bag — it will be something signed (or several somethings signed) by Susan Mallery during our time today. So don’t be shy and do check out our photos from the event. We’ll be Twittering them as well as posting later today on our photos section. And to all who can’t make it in person, we’ll send out some delicious cyber scones to ya!

Until next time…
Get out there and READ a book…
Sara Reyes

DFW Tea Readers Group
Join us at Readers ‘n ‘ritas November 13-15, 2009!

Susan Mallery | I Like…

I like fruitcake. Yes, there it is. I’ve said it in public. I like it. It’s cake with fruit and nuts, which means it’s practically a health food. If my slice is big enough, it should count for at least two of the nine fruit and vegetable servings I’m supposed to have in a day. There’s enough sugar to keep me wired for at least two hours. Where’s the bad?

I also like wrapping presents. I have a ritual…I wait until everything is bought, then stack them by the table, get out all my wrapping supplies, put in the original Star Wars movie and wrap. I actually try to match the right wrapping paper to the gift or the person, I use all kinds of ribbons and little toys on the packages. Some years I’m done in two movies, but most it takes me all three. I wipe up the last of the glitter just as the wookies are doing the happy dance at the end of the third movie.

I like the fact that I’ve joked so much about not being a good cook that my sister in law won’t trust me with anything more than putting out rolls for our big family dinner. I wash the “good” dishes at the end of the meal, which turns out to be great fun. Everyone wants to keep me company (possibly out of guilt that I’m doing the clean-up, I’m not sure.) The kitchen is noisy and bright and there’s plenty of left-over wine to speed the process.

This year, I like that my book Accidentally Yours will be out the day after Christmas.

Books are supposed to be like kids—as writers, we shouldn’t have favorites. But this is one of mine favorites. I love everything about this book. I love Kerri, my heroine, who is determined and tough and vulnerable and willing to do anything in the world to get the job done. I like that Nathan, my hero, is so sure he’s a heartless bastard, when in truth, he’s terrified of loving and losing again.

Accidentally Yours is one of those special books writers talk about. A book of the heart. It just came to me over take-out, while my husband was out of town and I was trying to decide which chick flick to watch. I can’t explain the process by which a book arrives fully formed in my head, I only know I wish it happened more often. There was something so easy about writing this book, as if I knew everything that was supposed to happen. It felt a little like magic.

During this special time of year, I wish you and yours the very best of everything. May the new year bring you happiness, good fortune, health and fruitcake! And if you’re looking to add a little sparkle to your holiday season, give Accidentally Yours a try. I think you’ll love it!

If you get a chance, please visit my website We’re having a “12 Days of Christmas” contest, with a prize being given away every day!!

Happy Holidays,