Tuesday, March 11, 2014

On Tour: I Know You're There by Susan Allison-Dean, a Guest Post, an Excerpt, and a Giveaway!

I Know You're There

I Know You're There by Susan Allison-Dean
Paperback, 234 pages
Published April 5th 2013 by Sea and Farm

Jill Bradley is a twenty-four-year-old nurse whose life is going great; she has established herself in her new career and she’s looking forward to getting engaged to her high school sweetheart. But faced with a watershed moment, she has to deal with simultaneous family tragedy, injury, and betrayal, and feels it’s way too much to cope with. In a moment of despair, Jill books a trip to a Caribbean island in an effort to escape. While she finds respite and romance, her problems have also packed their own suitcase.

Helen Bradley, Jill’s mother dedicated her entire life to her family like many mothers in the 1970’s and 80’s. Despite her best efforts, however, she hasn't always been able to be the type of mother she wished she could be. She has a secret she was hoping would just go away, but it won’t. If she doesn't share it with Jill it might bring her daughter more harm.

I Know You’re There is a mother-daughter journey, celebrating the highs and delving into the lows of family life. Can the power of love heal all things?

Purchase I Know You're There

My thoughts about I Know You're There ~~

First off, let me talk about the cover. I love this cover and it is very intriguing, if you stop and take a look at it. There are a lot of questions to be answered. I love the color of the cover, a sandy color which fits in well with the person sitting on the beach staring out at the water. But above that is a medical form, waiting to be filled out. What does that means and how do they tie together?

And then I found myself getting pulled into the story from the very first, short chapter. Helen's dream is very disturbing and there is something she has to confess to someone else. What a great way to start the book - one just has to keep reading! I will admit, I inhaled this book. It's not a long book but it is filled with feelings and emotions and love. I just found myself just wanting to keep reading chapter after chapter.

The story is told in both the voices of Jill and her mother. Some of the story is in the present and some is in the past. I love reading those kinds of stories where the reader gets bits and pieces that eventually all fit together and make sense, at least as much sense as they can in the human world. Issues hopefully get resolved and people can move on.

Jill begins to question her life and her relationship with Jack, the man she has been with for forever, but it doesn't seem to be working and wasn't what she thought it was going to be. 
'... I thought to myself, right person, at the right time. That answers resonated in me. Maybe that was it. Maybe, Jack was the right guy at the wrong time for me. That made sense. It was also a little scary. So, when would the right guy come and when would my right time be? Worse yet, will there be a right guy or in my case a right time?'
She is also a nurse, a very good nurse, but did she choose this path in life for the right reasons? And should she be doing something different with her life? Jill finds out she has a lot to work out to finally find happiness.
'Blame, that I now realized, was the impetus for my need to save people. My great 'aha' moment, all these years I have been trying to undo a fatal mistake I made back on that October day. My life resembled a tragic Shakespearean play.'
And then, I love it when the story makes the title make sense. And this title has such a peaceful, loving meaning. I love it.
'Life couldn't be more perfect, as long as I kept my mind focused on the moment I was in.'
Those are great words to live by, don't you think?

This was such a wonderful story and I look forward to reading what Susan writes next.


I am so excited to have you here at The Book Bag today, Susan! I loved your book and love the thoughts that you are sharing with us today about what you want to be when you grow up. It sounds like your life is quite an adventure!

Oh, The Places Life Takes Us!
What do you want to BE when you grow up? You've heard this question, you've probably asked some kids it yourself. As if we are going to grow up and only BE one thing. No one asks, how many things are you going to be when you grow up? Or, what would you like to accomplish in your life? No, many of us have grown up thinking we will become one thing. At least I felt that.

What I really wanted to be as a high school student looking into career options was a marine biologist. I was coaxed by my well-meaning mother to be a nurse. I didn't have the courage at that age to pursue my own dream, so off to nursing school I went. I have a very strong work ethic. If I were a gravedigger, I would probably be the best one in the cemetery. So, I pursued my nursing career with passion for several years. I obtained my master’s degree in nursing too. A grumbling in my soul started to stir after ten years or so, nudging me to garden. It took a few years, but eventually I gave in, quit my nursing job and pursued a career in horticulture for ten years.

Once again, around that ten-year mark, I felt that same nudging feeling. This time it was to write a book. I wrestled it down, not wanting to venture out of my tranquil, happy gardening world. By fate or accident, I wonder, I broke my ankle while going down the stairs to take the garbage out.

One of the first things my husband said when he arrived in the Emergency Room was, “Well, now you can write that book you've been talking about.”

I gave in and started writing a novel. Writing served me well during those weeks of healing and rehab that followed.

Several people have said to me, “Wow, you do so many things!”

Yes, I have done more than just be one thing. No one, to be honest, is more surprised by this than I. In between these years, I have had amazing experiences volunteering with dolphins & whales, as well. Isn't it funny how life weaves all your desires into it? My novel, I Know You’re There, blends a little bit of all of these experiences into it.

Will I be writing for ten years before another calling comes? God only knows, but it seems that way if all the ideas filtering into my head are any indication.

It was a long day and I was looking forward to going home as we prepared our reports to give to the second shift in the nurse’s conference room.

“I need someone to stay for the evening shift; Barb called in sick.” Marie leaned on the door entryway, rubbed the back of her neck, as she broke the news in a tone deeper than usual. This was the third time this month Barb called in sick.

“Can’t nursing administration send us a float nurse?” Natasha moaned.

“No, the floats are already assigned.”

We each looked anywhere but at our nurse manager. We were all tired. Mrs. Swanson’s death, two new admissions from the ER, four fresh patients from the Operating Room, and one more coming, a fresh total hip replacement. It would be a busy evening monitoring all these new patients, getting to know them, getting them settled in. Not to mention the regular patients we had on what would now be a full unit. At least there would be no more patients to admit, but the evening would add visiting family members. Most of them required care and explanations sometimes more than the patients did.

The silence was unnerving. Marie just stood in the door, feet planted firmly, and waited for someone to volunteer. We knew she didn’t want to do it, but she had no choice. An inner voice warned me, “Let someone else do it,” but my mouth opened and the words came out, “OK, I’ll stay.”

About the author

Sue Allison-Dean is a nurse who retired from traditional practice in 1999, after working 13 years as a Wound, Ostomy, Continence Clinical Nurse Specialist. She found a second career in gardening after working in a garden center and completing an organic gardening internship at Highgrove Garden in England. She now co-owns Naturescapes with her landscape designer husband, Robert.

She has authored several clinical and horticulture articles and was a contributing author to the bestselling book, Touched By A Nurse. She is passionate about the sea and loves exploring tropical islands. She extends this passion by doing volunteer work benefitting dolphins and whales. Sue splits her time between Armonk, New York and Cary, North Carolina, with her husband and English bulldog, Bubba.

Connect with Susan 

Giveaway Time!! 

Be sure to check the sidebar for my current giveaways!


  1. Thanks for being a part of the tour!

  2. Thank you for the wonderful book review! I'm so glad you enjoyed it. I will share with Debra from Tugboat Design the compliments on the cover. She is amazing!

  3. This book is captivating and unforgettable. thanks for this feature. saubleb(at)gmail(dot)com

  4. Interesting job options

  5. Thank you so much for the giveaway.


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