Monday, January 13, 2014


Please welcome my good friend in Australia, Susan Horsnell, to the blog. Susan is an exceptionally nice person. Don't you enjoy reading a book more if you know the author is nice? I certainly do.

Anyway, Susan has an unique writing style all her own, although it is very much like British cozy mysteries in craft. Her books convey emotion and romance, and I hope you enjoy them.

Susan's latest releases are duo BLIND ACCEPTANCE and BLIND ACHIEVEMENT. Below I'll include the info for each.

Will Luke accept his son, Phillip’s blindness?
When Phillip is injured in a wagon accident and blinded for life; his father must come to terms with the fact that his only heir will be unable to run his beloved ranch unaided.
He struggles to accept his son is still whole; even the beautiful teacher he employs to help Phillip can’t seem to break down Luke’s walls.
Then, without warning, there is an event on the ranch that will change their lives forever.

Texas 1869
Luke strode into the kitchen and found Phillip clutched tight to the bosom of Meg - his cook/housekeeper, and up until now, Phillip’s teacher.
When Phillip noticed his father he disengaged himself from Meg’s grasp and ran to where Luke had crouched down and now held his arms outstretched. Luke swept his son up and held him close as he stood and walked into the parlour.
“Did you hear pardner?” Luke was becoming concerned with the effect the frequent arguments were having on their impressionable child.
The arguments seemed to be disrupting the household more and more and Luke was grateful that Meg protected Phillip from them as much as she could.
“You arguing again?” his brother, Nathan, asked as he marched into the parlour seconds behind Luke. “I heard you clear on over to the corral.”
“Yeah; Marie is still insisting on sending Phillip away to school but I just can’t let it happen.”
“Big brother, you can’t force her to keep Phillip at home and teach him. She wants to go back to Austin herself, you know she isn’t cut out for this life.”
Luke looked thoughtfully at his brother. Nathan had fallen in love with Marie the first time he'd met her. He had told Luke repeatedly for the first couple of years they were married that if Marie was his wife he would give up the ranch and take her off to a city for the life she so desperately wanted.
If Nathan didn’t love and respect his brother as much as he did, Luke thought he might have saddled up with Marie and headed off to Austin a few years ago.
Fortunately, as Nathan had grown older he’d also grown wiser and he could see Marie now for the woman she was. He told Luke she was everything he didn’t want in his wife.
Luke couldn’t, and didn’t want to, leave the ranch he loved more than anything else in the world; except for his son. His father and grandfather had worked hard to build the Circle J Ranch from nothing when they’d first arrived out west from Tennessee. Luke was convinced it was Phillip’s legacy he protected.
Marie could do what she liked.
He’d gladly give her the divorce she’d been asking for lately, but he would never give up his son.
Review from InD’tale Magazine – November 2013   4 ½ stars and Crowned Heart Award for Excellence
Phillip Johnson has been blind since the age of six after sustaining a head injury in a wagon accident.
Growing up on a ranch outside of Austin hasn't been easy for the young man but he has thrived with the loving help of his Step-Mother, Rachel, and the faithful support of his father, Luke.
At 18 years old, he has made the decision to head to Macarthur to attend the Wyoming College for the Blind. He plans to study Civil Government Law and Political Economics.
It is here that he meets Belinda and he falls deeply in love with her. Belinda hides a dark and dangerous secret.
A ruthless man is obsessed with owning her. This threat has the power to ruin their relationship and put their lives in jeopardy.
Can they overcome such obstacles and find happiness together?


Six months had passed and Phillip was thoroughly miserable. Teachers favoured him for his good nature and excellent grades while other students taunted him mercilessly for it. He thanked the Lord daily for his friendship with Daniel. Without him school would be unbearable and he would be on the next train back to the ranch.
He was now familiar with the classrooms and labyrinth of hallways so he was able to get around if Daniel was required elsewhere.
It had been a long day and he tapped his way back to his room. He was startled from his thoughts by an ear piercing scream. Coming to an abrupt stop he listened. Sounds of a scuffle and banging came from what he knew was a classroom ahead. He approached and threw open the door without hesitation.
“What the hell? Get out!” a gruff voice bellowed.
“Please help me.” A girl’s agonized plea tore at his heart.
“What’s going on?” Phillip demanded to know.
“None of your damned business, half-wit. Get out.” Phillip could not place the voice.
“Let me go,” she screamed again.
“Let the young lady go.” Phillip said angrily. “Come here to me Miss.”
He could hear her struggling to get free.
“I have asked you to let her go. I will not ask again.” Phillip loaded his voice with menace.
The man guffawed. “Do you really think a blindy like you can stop me?”
Phillip used the man’s voice to help him move closer.
The girl took advantage of her captor being distracted and bit down hard on his arm. He yelped with pain, and she wrenched free of his grip and launched herself into Phillip’s arms.
The air rushed from his lungs as she collided with his chest. He wrapped his arm protectively around her trembling body as she sobbed into his shirt.
Phillip lifted his cane as a warning for the man not to approach. “I am taking her to speak with Mr Carver. I expect he will also want to speak with you.”
The girl in his arms continued to tremble and sob.
“Come with me. We’ll ensure this never happens again,” he told the girl gently.
She moved from his grasp and wiped the tears from her eyes. Mr Collins, I will make you sorry for this,” she promised bravely.
“As if Mr Carver would believe you over a teacher he respects and trusts. I will tell him you made advances towards me,” he snarled.
The girl grasped hold of Phillip’s hand. Her obvious terror fired his anger.
“You forget, sir. I was here.”
“You’re blind,” he sneered. “How would you know what was happening?”
“A girl doesn’t scream like that if she is a willing participant.” Phillip tightened his hold on her hand and pulled her from the room.
“We will check Mr Carver’s office first. He often works late so he may not have gone down to his cottage yet.” Phillip led her back down the hall he had just come from.
“What is your name?” he asked.
“I’m Belinda. Thank you for rescuing me.”
“My name is Phillip and you are welcome. I’m just happy I came along when I did. What happened?”


In addition to her normal nurse’s duties, Susan Horsnell spent several years working with the blind. Her first hand knowledge equips her to handle the subject of a blind hero realistically. She hopes to illustrate through her entertaining fiction the fact that blind people are just that—people who have the same hopes and dreams as the seeing public.

My dad went blind in one eye from an accident at work and in the other eye from botched cataract surgery. This happened fifteen years before Dad died and completely changed our lives—and not for the better. Anything to do with blindness is very painful to me. I was hesitant to read Susan’s books, but she is a dear friend, so I did and I'm so glad I did.

One reviewer complained about Susan's style because she doesn’t conform to the traditional model for mass market fiction. Good for Susan. And she uses British spellings because, well, Australia is a British country. So don't think the different spelling is incorrect. 

Authors become writers because we have stories to tell, and we must tell them in a way that doesn’t stifle our creativity.  Park your inner critic and enjoy Susan’s stories!

Author Susan Horsnell
Susan Horsnell grew up in Sydney, Australia. Her parents came to Australia from England in 1952 after her father did 3 years in Mombasa, Kenya with the United Nations Peacekeeping Forces. A lot of her early years concentrated on dancing--tap, ballet, clog, jazz, etc., and she spent a fair amount of time travelling to competitions throughout New South Wales. She was a very good tapper and had a good singing voice so won a fair share of competitions. She did pantomimes and also a stint on a children’s television show. She's always loved to read.

She met her husband, Robert, he was posted to a Naval Base near her home. They have two sons and five grandchildren. Susan retired from nursing over four years ago. She likes to be active--loves walking their two Jack Russell Terriers – Cosmo and Kelly. The couple spend weekends out in the country visiting interesting old, antique, craft shops or historical homes, museums.

Her love of reading was invaluable with her Naval husband away so much. She began to write bits and pieces when she had the time. She's been writing seriously for 2 years but dabbled on and off before that. She wasn’t confident enough that people would want to read her work but decided to dive in and give it a go.

"I figured if I didn’t try it I would never find out if I had any talent or not. I hope readers can look at my writing as escapism with the old fashioned type romance that seems to have been lost. People are so busy in their jobs and with family life they don’t always have time to read heavy stories. I just would like them to sit down with a coffee and read something they don’t have to think about; something that will take them away to someplace else."


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Thanks for stopping by!


Susan Horsnell said...

Thanks Caroline for having me.

Margaret Tanner said...

Hi Caroline and Sue,
Great blog, I have read most of Sue's stories and enjoyed everyone of them.



Peggy Henderson said...

Great post, as always, Sue. Read Blind Achievement, what an inspiring story! Need to go back to read Blind Acceptance.
Thank you for taking the reins on our Anthology project.

Caroline Clemmons said...

Susan, thank you for visiting my blog. You have handled a difficult subject in an entertaining (though at times heartbreaking) way that demonstrates those who are blind are still like everyone else in emotion and dreams.

Rain Trueax said...

Interesting post and making a hero go beyond what is normally expected is inspirational as well as enjoyable reading.

Paty Jager said...

Susan we have even more in common! I have book with a blind hero and will be writing another one by the end of the year. Congratulations on your books and the great reviews.

Anonymous said...

Good blog, Susan.

Jacquie Rogers said...

Hi, Sue! Good stuff here. :) I'm anxious to read your story in Rawhide 'n Roses, too!

Susan Horsnell said...

Thank you ladies for visiting and leaving a comment.

Susan Horsnell said...

Thank you ladies for visiting and leaving a comment.

Unknown said...

Great interview, ladies. I'm more eager than ever to read Sue's books.

Unknown said...

Great interview, ladies. I'm more eager than ever to read Sue's books.