Susan C. Muller is visiting at The Library today with an interview with Ruben Marquez, the protagonist in The Witch on Twisted Oak as part of her virtual book tour with Goddess Fish Promotions. Susan will be awarding a $20 Amazon gift card to a randomly drawn commenter during the tour, and you can see the rest of the stops here: http://goddessfishpromotions.blogspot.com/2013/07/virtual-book-tour-witch-on-twisted-oak.html.
SCM: Today we’re talking to Ruben Marquez. He’s a Homicide Detective with the Houston Police department and the protagonist in The Witch on Twisted Oak. What made you want to become a policeman, Ruben?
RM: When I was about eleven, a Houston policeman was killed while arresting a suspect. The funeral was held in the church where I was acting as altar boy. Looking out over the congregation I saw a sea of officers dressed in blue with black arm bands. The Chief of Police was there along with the mayor and several state senators. The respect shown the fallen officer moved me and I knew from that moment what I wanted to do with my life.
SCM: Are you sure the fact that women go crazy over a man in uniform didn’t have anything to do with it?
RM: There are few enough perks in this job, but I didn’t learn about that one until later.
SCM: You’re a tall guy. Just how tall are you and how has that affected your life? Do you have any other attributes that have shaped your life?
RM: I’m six foot eight. That height came in handy when I played football, and doesn’t hurt when dealing with suspects, but it wasn’t always that way. As a kid, I was so clumsy I tripped over my own feet and was teased unmercifully. The retort that hurt the most was when some kid told me I was adopted. As a Hispanic, and the only one in my family to top five foot eight, part of me believed him. I never felt like I belonged until I joined the police department.
When my mother first told me that I was part Romanian gypsy and had inherited my great-grandfather’s powers as a warlock, I was horrified. One more thing to set me apart.
SCM: How do you feel about that now?
RM: I’m still not sure I believe her. I prefer to think I just have a heightened sense of intuition. Very handy in my line of work.
SCM: You mentioned your mother. Do you come from a large family?
RM: Two brothers, two sisters, nieces, nephews, aunts, uncles, and cousins. All so much into my business it drives me crazy. Sometime I fantasize about moving so far away they can’t bother me, but where would that be, the moon? No, if I don’t hear from at least one of them during the week, I feel like I lost something but just don’t know what.
SCM: Let’s get a little more personal.
RM: What, this hasn’t been personal so far?
SCM: There’s a rumor you’re something of a ladies man. Is that true?
RM: I don’t think so. There was a time in my life that I liked to go out, have a little fun. Lately I’ve settled down.
SCM: Is that due to a special lady?
RM: No comment.
SCM: How does this special lady, if she exists, feel about your newfound powers? Does she have any powers of her own?
RM: I said ‘No comment.’ Anyway, you’re the one who wrote the book. You should know the answer.
SCM: In that case, how about a little excerpt?
This was it. Now or never. Tessa took a deep breath and grasped Ruben’s hands.SCM: This concludes my portion of the interview. If you have any questions you want to ask Ruben, leave a comment below.
The electricity that ran down her arm and through her body must have flowed both ways. Her mother had warned her this might happen occasionally, but only with someone very special.
He tried to yank his hands away, but she tightened her grip. Her mind filled with a whirlwind of images and emotions.
His soul wasn’t lily white, she’d never met anyone whose was, but it wasn’t tainted as she’d expected. She searched her mind through the color palette. Not eggshell or cream, maybe ecru, or perhaps a pale beige. Lighter than most she’d come across.
Where was the blackness her mother had warned her about?
This was all too much to think about while holding his hands. She loosened her grip and he pulled his hands back, clearly flustered. How was she ever going to explain it to him, and how would he feel about her if she did? Even more important was something she’d never worried about before. What did he see? What color was her soul?
And why did she care what he thought?
RM: You didn’t tell me they could ask questions.
SCM: You didn’t think you were going to get out of here that easy, did you?
Detective Ruben Marquez is thrust back into his childhood memories when he investigates a gruesome murder that occurs only feet from his mother's home. Is the killer somehow connected to his own past? Is the beautiful, mysterious daughter of the victim, someone he can trust? Or is her revelation that she’s a witch a sign he should stay clear. But how can he, when it appears she’s next on the murderer’s to-do list.
In the ultimate test of courage, he uses himself as bait to protect all he holds dear . . . his career, his family, and the Witch on Twisted Oak.
Susan and her husband, Sid, live in Spring, Texas with their rescue dog, Buster, a 120 pound black lab of advanced age. They have two children and four grandchildren. They love to travel and have been fortunate to see much of the world. Her favorite places include Kenya, New Zealand, and the Galapagos Islands. When not writing, she can be found doing volunteer work at a local hospital. She loves to read, travel, snorkel and take long walks.