She's Dr. Isabel Favor, America's diva of self-help.He's Ren Gage, Hollywood's favorite villain.Sometimes you just know that God has a sense of humor.Dr. Isabel Favor has sacrificed everything to build her self-help empire. Then, in a matter of weeks, it all comes crashing down. She loses her money, her fiancé, and her reputation. Broke, heartsick, and soul-weary, she heads for Italy in search of a little breathing room.Lorenzo Gage makes his living killing people .. on the silver screen, that is. He's viciously handsome and sublimely talented. While on vacation in Italy he spots Isabel sipping a glass of wine in a sidewalk café. A good guy wouldn't think of seducing such a tidy-looking woman... but he'd never seen the fun in playing the hero.A farmhouse nestled in a Tuscan olive grove can't provide Isabel with the refuge she needs -- not when the townspeople are scheming to drive her away, and her plan to restore her reputation has come up empty. And especially not when the man who deceived her refuses to leave her in peace.
Sometimes becoming an author is quite a surprise. This happened to Susan Elizabeth Phillips. She had many haphazard meetings and lucky breaks. One such meeting was on a blind date with a college engineering student. She was not even quite sure what engineers did, but she fell in love and ended up marrying him. After two years they started a family, which eventually grew to two children. Susan says today they have bonus children in their boys spouses, and four grandchildren.
She says that her writing career came by accident. She and her husband and kids moved from Ohio to New Jersey, where her best friend lived two doors down. They spent much of their time reading books and discussing them afterward. On a lark, they decided to try to write their own book. After a few miserable failures, they finally put half of a book together. They had a phone number of a Dell Publishing editor, so they called to inquire whether they would review their manuscript to see if they had any chance of publication. To their surprise, the editor agreed to review what they had written. She also wanted to see a synopsis along with the manuscript. They had no idea what a synopsis even was! They managed to put together what Dell had requested. Three weeks later, the editor from Dell called them to say they liked it, and made them a monetary offer. She remembers thinking........just like that, we were published. Again, Susan says she was lucky that the publishers were scouting for more books for the hot book market.
In 1983 the first book was finished, entitled The Copeland Bride under a pseudonym Justine Cole. Susan's friend moved away, so she had to now learn how to write alone. She finally had two more books published in the historical romance genre........Risen Glory, and Just Imagine. Both books were written under her real name, and she admitted that writing alone was not as much fun as with her friend. She went on to write Glitter Baby, which received international attention. She finally felt that she had a true writing career.
Susan and her husband, Bill, moved to the Chicago area. She started writing again, and refers to those books as her "big books". They were Fancy Pants, Hot Shot, and Honey Moon. Each of those took two years to complete, and was published by Pocket. Susan's career continues today, and she is pleased to say that she has found her contemporary voice.