Saturday, February 19, 2011


Harlequin Presents author Susan Stephens joins Wild Card Weekend to share a little about the challenge and fun of writing about another era... and a chance to win a copy of GRAY QUINN'S BABY!

When I was asked to write a book set in the 60's with a modern day heroine for Harlequin Presents, my first thought was, wow, how incredible. I love that era. The fashions and music were nothing short of revolutionary, while the 'so called' sexual revolution made possible by the pill before the shadow of aids had been identified, was said to liberate women. It was an era of compelling figures who would open our eyes and our hearts, and technical advances that were both fast and thrilling. And, most crucially for my purposes, women were fighting for equal pay and rights with men.

Women might have been moving forward, but there were some men who had not caught up with the times, and I found the idea of pitting a modern woman against a man like this irresistible.

My second thought was - write a contemporary romance set in the 60's - how does that work? That's up to you, I was told.

Brilliant - A blank canvas with no rules. And so Gray Quinn was born.

I must admit Steve McQueen was a huge influence as I wrote this book. And, yes, being a motor bike fanatic he rode a 'monstrous throbbing machine' just like my hero, Gray Quinn!

I had my modern woman meet Gray Quinn in the current day. Magenta then falls asleep and dreams that they have both been transported back to the sixties.

The fun and games begin when Magenta starts to assert herself in this sixties dreamworld. Needless to say, Quinn is not amused. Nor is falling
in love with chauvinist Quinn part of Magenta's plan, but fate has other ideas.

Waking up from a deep sleep can be wonderful - Sleeping Beauty receiving that magic kiss, for instance. But when Magenta wakes up in the modern world without Quinn or the baby they were expecting she is thrown out of her beautiful dream into a nightmare.

Will fate be kind to Magenta just one more time?

What's the best dream you ever had - and did it come true?

I have a signed copy of Gray Quinn's Baby to give away for the best answer.

Look forward to hearing from you.

Happy reading!



  1. Wow!
    With Steve McQueen as your inspiration, I know this book will be a winner. Can't wait to get my hands on it.

  2. My sleeping dreams are too weird so I hope they don't come true!

    But my awake dream is to be published and I'm working towards that.

    Interesting concept for this book -I was born in the 60's, so I don't remember much about them as I do the 70's. All I can say is - Groovy idea.

  3. It was all too easy to have that book with his face on the cover on my desk and dream instead of writing, Carol!
    Hard and bad, yet with humor in his eyes... What's not to like ;)

    Don't give up your dream, Marcie :)
    I wish you the very best of success.

    Happy reading!

  4. Actually Susan, my best dream ever involved Steve McQueen and a motorbike... With me on the back! So wish I hadn't woken up from that one too soon. Unfortunately it didn't have much chance of coming true as he was long dead by then, but wow what a great dream, sounds like your book might be a way to revisit it!

  5. Wow, this one sounds so good to me, I'm a big fan of Steve McQueen (especially Love With A Proper Stranger), and the "Mad Men" era.

    I love that you and Presents are doing something different. As far as my dreams, thus far none have turned into reality.

  6. Wah! Thought I commented and then it disappeared, so please forgive me if I'm repeating myself!!!

    I just wanted to say, don't give up on your dreams, Summer. Dreams are free and wonderful, and they don't hurt anyone, so we should indulge ourselves all we can.

    And, Heidi... I believe I made an offer of pistols for two; coffee for one when it comes to who gets to sit on that pillion seat!!!

    Back soon - so it's not too late to make a comment :)

    All Best to everyone!

  7. I was married in 1968 so this book sounds really intriguing. I used to dream I would marry Prince Charles when I was quite young.That what a granny who was a staunch Royalist will do for your dreams.
    I loved Paul Newman, Robert Redford and Peter Fonda as well as Steve McQueen. I've only been on a motorcycle once and the experience wasn't that great but give me any of them in a sports car and I'd love it.

  8. I once dreamed I was Elizabeth bennet from 'Pride and Prejudice' - honestly! Can't say it came true though...

    Your book sounds absolutely fascinating - I'd love to win a copy!

  9. Thank you all for commenting.
    I allowed dh to point at a line of names withnhis eyes shut- the power I give this man ;)

    Summer, he picked you!

    Could you please send your snail mail address to and I'll get that book in the post to you as soon as I can.

    Thank you all so much for contributing your thoughts and dreams- it was great sharing them here.

    See you again soon,

    Very best to all,


  10. Sounds like a fantastic book. If Steve McQueen was your inspiration, I can't see how it could be anything but hot.

  11. Thank you, Pam. A lady with great taste in men!

    See you soon- with a hunky builder who used to be a bare-knuckle fighter for the fab new line, Riva in June, and then an untamed Argentinian for Modern/Presents a little later this summer.

    All Best