I was privileged to interview the talented Susan Illene. This is what she shared:
Out of all the books you've written, if you could live in one of them which would it be and why?Hmm, even if I count the books I’ve written but not published, I’d probably still prefer The Sensor Series. It would be exciting to live in a world with so many paranormal creatures, assuming I could know they exist like my characters do (but most humans don’t).
In what scenario do you do your best work?
One where my husband isn’t bothering me!
What are you working on and when can we expect it to be out?
I’m currently working on a novella, Chained by Darkness, that is part of my series but told from another character’s point of view. It should be out at the end of October.
Awesome! I'll have to keep an eye out.
Which books have been on your tbr shelf the longest?
I have been meaning to read the Charley Davidson series by Darynda Jones since I’ve been hearing great things about it for a long time.
Paper or plastic?
Plastic, it’s great for reusing when I’m cleaning out the cat litter box.
What food can't you live without?
Oh, that’s easy. Potatoes! They can be cooked in so many ways that I never get tired of them. You are so right. They're one of my favorites too! :-)
Inside or outside?
It depends on what I’m doing. For writing I prefer inside, but I love to spend time outdoors. Even the Army didn’t break me of my enjoyment of camping and long walks.
Ice cream in a cone or dish?
I don’t really eat much ice cream due to my stomach not handling dairy well. There are pills you can take for that, but I’ve found avoiding too much dairy helps keep the weight off. About once every three months I break down and eat a banana split, though. I pay for it every time, but it’s worth it with the long break between.
What is your favorite sport?
I love watching gymnastics. There is a lot of talent involved in that sport. I'd love to be that flexible!
What is your favorite or least favorite veggie and fruit?
I don’t like olives, but I love broccoli (steamed or fresh). Strawberries are my favorite fruit. I’m not so much of a fan of grapefruit. Ughh I don't like grapefruit either! *cringes*
What is your favorite animal?
I’m rather partial to cats, but I love to go out and ride horses.
What is your biggest pet peeve?
People who drive slow in the fast lane! Girl, you're preaching to the choir!
Thank you for answering my questions! :-)
About the Author:
Instead of making the traditional post high school move and attending college, Susan joined the U.S. Army. She spent her eighteenth birthday in the gas chamber...an experience she is sure is best left for criminals. For eleven years she served first as a human resources specialist and later as an Arabic linguist (mostly in Airborne units). Though all her duty assignments were stateside, she did make two deployments to Iraq where her language skills were put to regular use.
After leaving the service in 2009, Susan returned to school to study history with a focus on the Middle East. She no longer finds many opportunities to test her fighting abilities in real life, unless her husband is demanding she cook him a real meal, but she's found a new outlet in writing urban fantasy heroines who can.
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The Sensor Series, Bk One
Author: Susan Illene
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Number of pages: 387 pages
Word Count: 92,000 words
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Melena Sanders faced her fair share of danger with insurgents and terrorists when she served in the U.S. Army, but now she is about to go up against a new threat. Her best friend, Aniya, has disappeared while on a trip to Fairbanks, Alaska—a supernatural haven. Most humans have no idea darker races lurk amongst them. Mel knows better. If she wants to get her friend back, she’s going to have to go in alone—but not unarmed.
Melena has a few special skills the Army didn’t provide, but the odds are still against her. She’s got to come up with a plan fast that doesn’t involve her, or her friend, dying. But danger likes to play it rough. A war for power is about to rise in Fairbanks and if she wants to get Aniya back, she’s going to have to step right into the middle of it.
The Sensor Series, Bk Two
Author: Susan Illene
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Word count: 101,000 words (approximate)
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Melena Sanders has managed to avoid all things inhuman for most of her life, but after coming to Fairbanks, Alaska to rescue her best friend from supernaturals she hasn’t been allowed to leave. That is, until her long-time nemesis comes to collect a favor she owes him. Lucas might be half angel, but he’s all bad as far as she’s concerned.
Paying him back might get her out of town for a while, but her new destination will be anything but enjoyable. Mel’s got to help the nephilim take care of a demon possession outbreak in Juneau. Although something like this hasn’t happened for thousands of years, Lucas is certain Melena’s rare abilities are the key to solving the problem.
With violence in the capital city growing, she’s going to have to figure out how to stop it fast before the trouble spreads to other places. Not only that, but working closely with Lucas is changing the dynamics of their hate-hate relationship—worrying her even more than the demons. Getting back to her captivity in Fairbanks never looked so good.
Okay so I have another author to add to my faves list. :-) I read both books back to back. Wow!
This series focuses on Melena, a sensor. What is a sensor you ask? Exactly what it sounds like! She is a human who has the ability to "sense" supes. Each one leaves a distinct impression with her which enables her to know who is what, how old they are, where they are located, if they are lying and a whole bunch of other handy dandy tricks.
I thought this new type of being was absolutely genius. In addition to Melena, there are a whole slew of supes and they have their own differences as well. I love watching the characters interact. I have quite a few favorites including Derrick and Lucas. These books were sensationally SUPER. You'll find all types including trolls, vamps, witches werewolves, pixies, elves, fairies, nephilim, demons and angels.
In book one Darkness Haunts we first find Melina in a tizzy trying to find her missing best friend Aniya. She ends up making a trip to Alaska where Aniya went missing after they get no help from the police.
Trying to find her friend proves to be more dangerous than she had counted on. Deciding to rescue her brings changes to her life that she never could have imagined.
Both books were non stop, action packed adventures full of suspense, danger, some blood and gore, a charismatic cast of supes, a kick a** heroine, romance and the second book had plenty of steam and sizzle as well. There are quite a few surprises too!
In Darkness Taunts, Melina is still adjusting to her new existence when Lucas shows up and whisks her away. He needs her help. With both of them in close proximity, their attraction becomes too much to ignore. ;-)
The last couple chapters left me needing to know what happens with Lucas and if Derrick will get a HEA.
This series is terrific. I couldn't put either book down for very long. They were both well written and paced. You won't find a dull moment in either book.
I recommend them to everyone who likes urban fantasy or paranormal books. These remind me of Mercy Thompson or Sookie Stackhouse with a twist all their own.
I received copies of both books in exchange for my honest opinion. I thought both of them were fan-freaking-tastic and I'll be anxiously waiting for the next book. :D