It’s a RED HOT Party!!

Close to the Fire card back DekeThat’s right folks we’re having a book launch party!!! You know what that means, don’t you? Food, fun, friends…and a firefighter!! No, seriously. This time we’re inviting Deke Reynolds into the Lair. He’s a bonafide firefighter who happens to be not only the fire chief for Westen, Ohio, the fictional town where I’ve set my book, CLOSE TO THE FIRE, but he’s also the book’s hero! Here’s the character card for him.Β 

The heroine in CLOSE TO THE FIRE is Libby Wilson, the county social worker. We met her in the first book in the series, CLOSE TO HOME. That’s her character card right there.

Close to the Fire card back Libby

So what’s their story about?

They once were lovers:
After ten years of keeping his distance to the one woman he’s always loved, Fire Chief Deke Reynolds is finally ready to set aside his grief and confess his guilt to Elizabeth “Libby” Wilson about his part in her brother’s death. Libby’s own guilty secret has kept her from sharing her life with the man who stole her heart as a teen and awakened her body as a young woman.

Danger has forced them together again:
A fire and their odd connection to a new teenager at the local half-way house have this couple finally sharing their secrets with each other. With an arsonist on the loose, threatening the town of Westen and its citizens, have Libby and Deke waited too long to find their love again?

Close to the Fire finalYes, people…this is a reunion romance book. But it’s been a hot, dry summer in Westen. Things have begun to smolder.Β  All it takes is a little kindling to get things burning.

One of the fun parts of doing a series in one small town is the town folks who come into the story and add more flavor to it. So some of the regulars who are back is Lorna Doone, the owner of the Peaches ‘N Cream Cafe, Doc Clint and Emma Preston, Sheriff Gage Justice and his fiancee Bobby Roberts and of course our beloved Deputy Cleetus Junkins.

In fact, one of the newer residents in Westen is Miss Sylvie Gillis, a hair stylist over at the Dye Right Salon and she’s sort of got her eye on the big deputy.

There’s a newcomer to town who sort of stirs things up. A teenager named Kyle Gordon, who is a resident at the halfway house for troubled youths. (Okay, confess how many of you hear Joe Pesci say Utes just now?)

So, it wouldn’t be a Bandit book launch party without some fun and games. Here goes.

We’re serving cold drinks and five-alarm chili! What and who are you bringing to the shindig?

Name these movies with firefighters in them:

1. A team of ace firefighters travel around the world putting out oil rig fires.

2. A firefighter is trapped inside a burning building and contemplates his life as his team works to save him.

3. Two estranged firefighter brothers work from different angles to stop an arsonist who is setting fires all over Chicago.

I’m giving away print copies of CLOSE TO THE FIRE to 2 readers who answer the questions! (Oh, and if you want to download the book to your kindle, just click on the cover.)

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  • Jane says:

    Congrats on the new release, Suz. Bring on the drinks, but I’ll have to be careful with the chili.
    1. Hellfighters
    2. Ladder 49
    3. Backdraft

  • Lucy says:

    Hi Suzanne,

    Congratulations on Close to the Fire!!!

    Deke Reynolds looks smokin hot πŸ˜‰

    Can’t wait to read Libby and Deke’s story.

    The movie’s hopefully are:
    1 – Hellfighters
    2 – Ladder 49
    3 – An all time favourite movie of mine – Backdraft πŸ™‚

  • gamistress66 says:

    while I haven’t seen the last 2 the first is John Wayne movie seen couple times — now sitting here recalling the final fire in the movie & the nerve wracking of them attempting to put it out. πŸ™‚

    Congrats on the release! πŸ™‚ now got check out those funky shots the boys have come up with for this fiery party (just one quick one before hitting the sack), might want to keep the chili away from emigarde so she doesn’t accidently set fire to the dΓ©cor πŸ˜‰

    • Hey GA Mistress.

      Hellfighters was always one of my favorite John Wayne movies! And yes, we’ll keep the chili away from the resident dragon. Although I think Ermengarde is hoping Deke and the firefighters will come to put out any fires she sets! πŸ˜€

      • Jeanne Adams says:

        Better not to let her know they’re around or she’ll put fires all around the perimeter just so she can see them run around and….hey…that’s not a bad idea.

        Forget I said anything. Just let the firefighters run…

  • Helen says:


    woohoo I do love a launch party in the lair and I am so looking forward to falling into this one I have it downloaded onto my kundle –

    1. Hell fighters
    2. Ladder 49
    3. Back draft live this one

    Have Fun

  • flchen1 says:

    Hooray, Suz!! Can’t wait to read this new one!! I love reunion stories!

    I watch very few movies and have no idea what any of these are–is cheating allowed? πŸ˜‰ I definitely will be needing a print copy to join the rest of my Suz collection on my keeper shelf!!

    • Hey Fedora!!

      Of course cheating is allowed! And it still cracks me up t hat you have a Suz collection going of my books!! Makes me feel very humble!! πŸ˜‰

      • flchen1 says:

        Of COURSE I have a Suz shelf! And I love that the collection keeps growing πŸ˜‰ I fully anticipate you eventually needing an entire shelf to yourself πŸ˜‰ And in that case, I’ve gotta go with majority opinion, and offer these up as my replies:
        1. Hellfighters
        2. Ladder 49
        3. Backdraft

        Is this book the only one you have character cards for? They look great!

  • Amy Conley says:

    Congrats on the new book, but I must admit I have zero ideas for the answers to your questions. The only two fie-type movies I can even think about are BACKLASH and now I’ve gone braindead and can’t think of the other movie, got it, INFERNO, LOL.

    • Thanks Amy! I’m very excited to have this book out, too.

      Yeah Towering Inferno was a great movie with a big fire in it, but the two main heroes weren’t firefighters, but architects and engineers so I didn’t include it.

  • Mary Preston says:

    It’s been ages since I saw any of these movies. I had to cheat a bit too. The movie posters/DVD covers are fantastic on these.

    1. Hellfighters

    2. Ladder 49

    3. Backdraft

  • Anna Sugden says:

    Congrats on your launch, Suz! Looking forward to reading it. Love Backdraft! πŸ™‚

  • Shannon says:


    I remember Hellfire because it was the kind of movie that was on at 2am when we were still up because we could be.

    Spmeone mentioned Towering Inferno. There was another sky scrapper film released at the same time. One worked, the other limped along. But now I can’t remember the name of that film. Maybe it was a book?

    • Hey Shannon!!

      I love Towering Inferno, but yeah, there was another movie like it at the same time that didn’t do so well. Could be all the big actors of the time, Paul Newman and Steve McQueen were in TI!

      • Shannon says:

        After some more internet digging, I found a 1974 movie called Terror on the 40th Floor. I got horrible reviews since it was more a flashback of regrets than a disaster movie (without firemen).

        BTW, I got a dose of firemen today. They were manning a table at Greek Festival, putting out safety literature. I guess since they’re EMTs they were handing out brochures. For all the ladies, they were handing out information about women’s heart attack symptoms being different than men’s. I could tell by the look on one woman’s face that she wanted to say something, and I wanted to think it was about other symptoms. like pitty-pat. It’s kind of a shame that as I’ve gotten older I’ve just shut down that temptation to flirt.

  • Debbie Oxier says:

    Hellfighters, wasn’t John Wayne in that one? Ladder 49, and Backdraft, which totally creeped me out. Scott Glenn was a great villain in that one and the music they played when the backdrafts were forming (shiver)! Does anyone watch Chicago Fire? I’ve only seen it once because it’s opposite something else I watch at that time. Also, does anyone know of any good arsonist books to read? Am looking forward to yours, Suzanne. I buy all of yours in print but it’s hard to wait until it comes out in that form to read it!

    • Hey Debbie!!

      Wasn’t Scott Glenn creepy good in that movie? I have to confess he’s one of my favorite actors.

      I haven’t seen Chicago Fire, but might have to catch up on Netflix and decided if I need to add it to my DVR list!

      Thanks for buying the print books! You’re very sweet to wait that long. (Working on that this weekend.)

  • Joan Kayse says:

    Ohhhhh…so this explains why my smoke alarm went off this morning! HOT firefighter Deke is here! πŸ˜€

    Can’t wait to read the latest from Westin. I HEART me some firefighters. We nurses LOVE when they come to the hospital in their gear…sigh

    I’m a Kentucky chili girl so I only use Chili O and yes Virginia….it MUST have spaghetti in it! It’s REALLY cold here this morning but I’ll still have a tropical Sangria if you don’t mind.

    I only know the movie Backdraft…but don’t remember a lot :0 Is that the one contemplating his life? Oh, and I’ve got a couple of my guys from Guardian Isle with me….they’re pretty hot themselves I’ll keep them…um..occupied so no new fires are started πŸ˜€

    • Some Tropical Sangria for the nurse in the corner with the Irish dudes!! Where did you find such tall, sexy guys with those delectable accents?

      It’s cold here, too, so chili is on the menu for dinner at chez Ferrell tonight!

      As for hot firefighter Deke…well he’s been keeping things pretty warm around my cave in the Lair for sometime. I kept having to assure him the candles, wine and chocolate weren’t fire hazards! πŸ™‚

  • catslady says:


    1. Hellfighters
    2. Ladder 49
    3. Backdraft

    I knew 1 and 3 but had to cheat on the second movie – am going to have to check that one out!

    • You got them, Catslady! (Cheating was allowed!) Sort of like an open book or open computer test!

      Oh yeah, you have to see Ladder 49. I thought it was a really good movie!

  • Jo Robertson says:

    Congratulations on your latest release in this great series, Suzanne! Whoot!

  • Hi Suz –

    We could use some of that heat in Ohio today. They ‘re talking frost warnings here tomorrow morning.

    Love firefighter books and reunion stories – great that you’ve combined the two. Congrats on another great release! Go Bucks!

    • Hey Donna! I heard it was cold up there today. Chilly enough down in Texas to toss on a sweatshirt for me walk today!

      Back when my friend Jo Davis was writing her firefighter series, I got to go on a research field trip to a firestation and interview the guys. I knew right then one of my books would have a firefighter hero! And reunion romances, how fun is it to bring two people back together, huh?

      GO BUCKS!!

  • bn100 says:

    1) Hellfighters
    2) Ladder 49
    3) Backdraft

  • Becke says:

    Name these movies with firefighters in them:

    1. A team of ace firefighters travel around the world putting out oil rig fires.

    OMG, John Wayne, Katherine Ross and Jim Hutton

    2. A firefighter is trapped inside a burning building and contemplates his life as his team works to save him.
    I didn’t know this one.

    3. Two estranged firefighter brothers work from different angles to stop an arsonist who is setting fires all over Chicago.
    Backdraft and a really great movie.

    How about the TV series Chicago Fire with Kelly Severide- Yum!

    And Nora’s Chasing Fire, which is one of Bandit Nancy’s favorites for a very good reason.

    Congratulations. Sounds like a compelling read.

    • hey Becke! You got 2 out of 3. Not too shabby. The third one is Ladder 49.

      I’ve seen episode previews for Chicago Fire but haven’t had a chance to see it, yet.

  • pjpuppymom says:

    HI Suz! Congrats on Close to the Fire! I’m reading it right now and it is awesome! I’d stick around and party but I have a hot Fire Chief and his terrific story to get back to! πŸ˜‰

  • HOT LAUNCH in the LAIR TONIGHT !!! HUGE CONGRATS, SUZ !! Can’t wait to read this one!

    LOVE these movies :

    1. Hellfighters

    2. Ladder 49

    3. Backdraft

    My Dad and I used to watch Hellfighters every time it came on television. Dad was a huge John Wayne fan.

    I’m bringing Richard Armitage and Gerard Butler, my own personal fire brigade !! And my famous Tequila Sunrise Slushies. Guaranteed to fire things up and they look like flaming drinks without the flames.

    • Hey Louisa! Thanks!! I can’t wait for y’all to read it, too!

      That’s funny, my dad and I always watched Hellfighters when it was on, too.

      MMM, don’t know which sounds hotter, the drinks or your escorts!

  • Suz, congratulations! I’m ordering my copy.

    I can only answer the questions by cribbing off of Louisa, who’s currently right about the reply box. *g* I did now the first was John Wayne and the last was Kurt Russell but could not remember either title. Had no clue on #2.

    I’ll bring brownies and a jello shots to the party. Congrats again!

    • Hey Nancy!!

      See, Nancy, I remember who are in movies more than titles sometimes, too!! And love Kurt Russell in anything…even Escape From NY!

      Brownies and jello shots after hot chili…delicious!

  • Mozette says:

    How’s this for irony: I live next to a fire station – the busiest in South East Queensland – and I didn’t know any of those movies.

    Well, I haven’t seen any of them…