Friends Friday -Suz DeMello ‘s Queen Quest.

Welcome back a Friends Friday regular, Suz DeMello, with news of her new, out of this world book!


I travel a lot, and a question I’m often asked is whether a place I’ve visited influences my writing. My answer: almost never. Though I started a manuscript set in Alaska when I was on a cruise through that lovely state, a story that eventually became Seducing the Hermit, that was the exception rather than the rule. I started writing my next book, Temptation in Tartan (Ellora’s Cave 2012), when I was living and working in China. It was kind of funny—people frequently asked me if I was inspired to write a romance while in China. A reasonable question, since I’d already written a book with a Chinese hero—Phoenix and Dragon, and that hero is very hot—and I do like Chinese-American guys. But there I was, in a modern city in central China writing about Scotland in 1748. Go figure, especially since I hadn’t visited Scotland since 1972.

And I wrote the Queen’s Quest (pub date: January 24, 2014 from Ellora’ Cave) while I was living in Thailand. I think I was inspired to write about a cool, misty place when I was living in a very hot, sultry, sunny locale—Chiang Mai.

So why the lust for travel? How does it fill the well?

What I really crave is to be engaged in life, and few experiences are more demanding than travel to a foreign country. I am completely in the moment when I’m in a strange new place, and that’s really important for everyone, but especially for a writer. We live in our heads most of the time, inventing and worldbuilding, and it’s essential to get out from behind the desk, drag our eyes away from the monitor and our butts off the chair, and to experience life.

As with my Scottish book, the experiences may not work their way into a manuscript for a very long time, but they do…eventually. And there are times when I’ve consciously set out to research a book’s setting. But most of the time I travel simply because I love to see new places and experience new people, as well as returning to favorite cities and visiting old friends.

I do find that if I live in a place for a while it works itself into my consciousness. Or not. The setting of the Queen’s Quest, because it’s a futuristic set on a terraformed planet, is entirely imaginary.

Travel sets my mind free. Interestingly enough, the word “thai” means “free.”

So here’s the blurb of the Queen’s Quest, a book that was not inspired by any locale on this earth. I had been intrigued by the central concept of the book for over a decade before I wrote it—a planet lacking tilt and spin, with one face eternally confronting its sun and the other in the grip of infinite winter.


Janus is a planet which lacks both tilt and spin, and its Shadowlands are the pewter band of dusk dividing the violently hot Lightside of the planet from its Darkside, imprisoned by eternal night. Because of the peculiar conformation of the planet, birthrates are low and indiscriminate mating encouraged.

Audryn, Queen of Shadow has reached that time in her life when she must choose a King to rule with her or fail to bear an heir, casting not only her realm but all of Janus into chaos.

Despite her duty, she is reluctant to share power, even a bit distrustful. Janus’ nobles vie for Audryn’s hand. Although she enjoys trysting with all her suitors, none seize her heart.

Then Storne, the warrior Prince of Darkness, arrives to claim her as his bride. Will his masterful ways allure or repel the willful Queen?

Interested? Buy it here:

sue venice mask


About Suz deMello:

Best-selling, award-winning author Suz deMello, a.k.a Sue Swift, has written over sixteen romance novels in several subgenres, including erotica, comedy, historical, paranormal, mystery and suspense, plus a number of short stories and non-fiction articles on writing. A freelance editor, she’s worked for Total-E-Bound, Liquid Silver Books and Ai Press, where she is currently Managing Editor. She also takes private clients.

Her books have been favorably reviewed in Publishers Weekly, Kirkus and Booklist, won a contest or two, attained the finals of the RITA and hit several bestseller lists.

A former trial attorney, her passion is world travel. She’s left the US over a dozen times, including lengthy stints working overseas. She’s now writing a vampire tale and planning her next trip.

–Find her books at

–For editing services, email her at