Saturday, May 09, 2015

Weekend Wildcard - Top 5 Things That Are Guaranteed to Get Me Out of My Jammies

Ex-FBI bomb squad member, turned romance author, Susan Sleeman is talking about the things that get her out of bed.  Also, she's offering a #GIVEAWAY for one lucky Pink Heart Society reader!

A bomb. A submachine gun. A plane crash. The roof torn from a car. CSI investigation.

Sounds like a book right? Or movie. Or even something a writer might conjure up in her mind. Wrong. It’s a day in the life of a romantic suspense author. A day in my life. Several days actually.

Not my typical schedule, though. I write fulltime so I’ve become a real homebody, sitting in my comfy chair—some days not even bothering to get dressed. But then, there have been crazy, amazing days when research has pulled me from my chair to participate in things I never imagined myself doing. Here are a few of my favorite events.

1. Detonating a Bomb – Lest you think the FBI is coming after me for this, let me first tell you that I was with FBI bomb squad at the time. As a participant in the FBI Citizen’s Academy, I joined agents for six weeks to learn about their job and mission. Some things I experienced first hand. What better way to experience the power of bombs than pressing the detonator in an empty field. The flash was blinding. The ground rumbled. And the explosion was deafening. AMAZING! Here’s a short video of one of the explosions. The video doesn’t have nearly the impact of the actual event, but it gives you an idea. As a bonus, you can also hear gunshots from the nearby firing range.

video

2. And speaking of guns, shooting a submachine gun—Same day, up the hill at the FBI firing range. We shot pistols, submachine guns, and a rifle. I’d only ever fired a weapon once before this day and let me tell you, the power behind the semi-automatic was incredible. Here’s the range and the targets we tried to hit, plus our instructors waiting to teach us how to proper procedures.

 
3. Tour a police CSI Lab – Don’t believe everything the amazing CSI labs with state-of-the-art equipment in these bright, airy rooms that you see on TV. Not so much with real police labs. They are strapped for money and cramped in small spaces, but still, I learned so many things. One was how to process fingerprints, and then how to use a fuming chamber to obtain fingerprints from uneven surfaces and hard-to-dust surfaces such as bottles, knives, guns, etc


4. Participate in a plane crash – What? A crash. Okay it was a mock disaster drill at the Portland International Airport, but hey, the emergency response workers didn’t treat it as a drill. They screamed onto the tarmac to help victims wearing gory makeup meant to simulate serious injuries. Mock family members arrived at the airport and were taken to special rooms to await the news of their loved ones. It all felt so real and gave me everything I’d need to write such a disaster. I’m just waiting for the right book. And as a bonus, I got a great t-shirt and medal for participating.


5. Using the jaws of life to remove the roof from a car – Okay, this one involved hunky firefighters, nuff said, but there was actual research here, too. The firefighters first demonstrated how to cut off the roof, then I was given the chance to step into turnouts and open up another car with my fellow participants enrolled in the local Police Academy.


So as you can see, being a romantic suspense author can be thrilling, and I try to put that realism and thrill into my books. For example, I have included a bomb in my two latest releases, Web of Deceit and Explosive Alliance

Web of Deceit is the first book in a three book series featuring female FBI agents assigned to an elite Cyber Action Team.  Web of Shadows releases in December and Web of Lies in April and in honor of all three books, I’ve been giving away official FBI insignia items like the ones in the picture. These are official items purchased at the Portland FBI campus store. All my giveaways will be featured on my Facebook page, so stop on over and like the page to keep from missing any of the giveaways.


 But before you go, leave a comment on the post telling me if you’ve ever fired a gun and if so what kind, and I’ll choose a name to win an FBI lanyard, a pen, and a print copy of Web of Deceit.

The first book in the series, Web of Deceit, is out now:
 
When agent Kaitlyn Knight’s brother-in-law, the notorious cybercriminal Vyper, kills her sister then goes on a murderous spree taunting Kait, homicide detective Sam Murdock must find Vyper before he takes another life. 

As the body count rises, Sam discovers the killing spree is really about striking back at Kait, and he must put everything on the line—including the relationship he’s developed with Kait—to ensure her safety. 

Vyper is waiting, watching her every move, and he won't stop until he's exacted his revenge and reclaims his rights to raise his daughter now in Kait’s custody.


For more information about Susan Sleeman and her writing, check out her website and blog, and follow her on Facebook and Twitter!

33 comments:

  1. Susan, I was a police officer and a sheriff's deputy. I also grew up in a hunting/fishing family. I learned to shot firs with a bb gun and then advanced to a shotgun, rifle, several types of revolvers and pistols. Never got to shoot a machine gun though. I like your books. You weave a great story.

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    1. Thanks, Connie. It was so fun to shoot the machine gun. I liked it best of all.

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  2. It's probably not a big deal to most, but I can hit a 2ltr coke bottle with a 22 at 25 yards. LOL

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  3. Your books sound so amazing, I can't wait to read them!! I've actually never fired a gun before, but would love to take a concealed weapons class.

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    1. Abby, it's such a good idea to take a class. Best of luck in winning the book.

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  4. I have never fired a gun, but I would like to go to a shooting range and practice. I like your dedication to writing books that are filled with intrigue. What a fun time you must of had while visiting the FBI and other facilities that help solve a crime. I would be honored to have a copy of your new book, Web of Deceit .
    Thanks
    Deana

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    1. Thanks, Deana. You definitely should go to a firing range. It's great fun.

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  5. never fired a gun.

    alysap AT yahoo DOt com

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    1. Sorry you haven't fired a gun, JCP. It's quite an experience.

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  6. I have used both a 22 and 38. My parents wanted us to know how to shot so we put in a lot of target practice.

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    1. Cool, Pamela. Sounds like you are comfortable with guns.

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    1. I've never shot a .22, Kimp. Thanks for stopping by.

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  8. When I was in the Air Force my husband and I both had to go through training on the M-16 before we were transferred to Ramstein AB in West Germany (1979). I barely scored high enough to qualify. That is the only experience I've had firing a weapon of any kind.

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    1. Oh, wow, Debora. I had no idea you were in the Air Force.

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  9. I have but I'm not sure what it was. It was my dad's hunting rifle.

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    1. Leslie, When I was young, not many girls went hunting, so that wasn't an option for me.

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  10. I have never fired a gun and hope I never have to.

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    1. I can see your point, Virginia. I don't think I could carry a gun on a regular basis, but it was fun to do that afternoon.

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  11. I have never fired a gun but thinking about getting one.

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    1. Ooh, Beth. Thinking of getting a gun. Hope it's not due to a problem.

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  12. Never fired a gun either but my characters have! My dream is to someday attend the week long Writer's Police Academy.

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    1. Carol, hope you get a chance to attend the Writer's Police Academy. I want to go to that, too!

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  13. I shot a glock and rifle at my local citizen's academy. What a blast! Was surprised at the kick from the hand gun.

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  14. I have fired a rifle before but never a handgun.

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    1. Brenda, Hope you get a chance to fire a handgun, too. It's very different.

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  15. Replies
    1. Coramdeo540, Hope you get the chance to do so.

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    2. Congratulations - Coramdeo540 - I have drawn your name as the winner of Web of Deceit with the FBI pen and lanyard. Please use my contact form on my website to give me your mailing information so I can put it in the mail to you. http://www.susansleeman.com/connect/ Thanks.

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  16. I have never fired a gun!

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    1. Angie, Hope you get the chance to do so. It's such fun!

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