Sunday, November 13, 2011

Featured Author: SUZETTE SMIT

"SHADOW OF DOUBT" - by Suzette Smit

About the Book
Author Interview
GIVEAWAY! A Signed Copy of "Shadow of Doubt"


Like a boxer knocked to the floor, New York City was getting up, bleeding and staggering, but ready to fight back.

Thousands of Americans were affected by the senseless act of violence on September 11, 2001.  Many lost loved ones, and nearly everyone lost their sense of security. The terrorist attack laid bare New York’s cultural diversities, triggering wild conspiracy theories and causing a frantic search for Osama Bin Laden. Terrorist suspect Alicia Khoury, a Muslim by birth but an American at heart, was torn between saving her brother Kareem’s life – by going into an arranged marriage – and her love for Ethan Sandler, a Jewish attorney who has a political career to take care of and an ambitious father who wants him to succeed at all costs.

But who was Alicia? Was she the sweet girl Ethan knew or the coldblooded terrorist, Lila Al-Qusayyer, rumored to be the most dangerous terrorist of her time? If she was capable of the deaths of thousands, as FBI agent Mitch Miller accuses her of being, why couldn’t she kill Bin Laden when she had the opportunity?

Alicia and Ethan meet just minutes before the first airplane crashes into the north tower of the World Trade Centre.  Together they escape the carnage, but not the consequences. The 9/11 attacks changed people’s lives dramatically, including the lives of Alicia and Ethan. It ultimately left them with an agonizing choice: their cultural heritage or their love for America.

by Ellen Fritz

Set in the direct aftermath of the September 11 attacks on the World Trade Centre in New York, “Shadow of Doubt” deals with suspicion on many levels; religious fanaticism; ambition and love.  In this suspense laden novel, the author tells the story of politically high-flying Ethan and Muslim born, suspected terrorist, Alicia; and the impact the attacks had on them, their families and their friends.
This thrilling page-turner, keeps the reader in nail-biting suspense right up to the very last page. The sensitivity, as well as the intensity with which this book was written, will draw you into the lives of the characters, and will have you experiencing their fears, their anger, their doubts and convictions. 
From the homes of the bereaved to the interrogation rooms of the FBI; from Jewish high society to the mountains of Afghanistan; this is a reading experience unlike any other.
I read “Shadow of Doubt” in one sitting and frequently found myself reaching for the Kleenex to wipe my tears. 
I highly recommend this book to all who wants to experience an utterly enthralling read.

Ellen's star rating  5/5


SUZETTE SMIT was born in Polokwane, a small town in the Northern Province of sunny South Africa. She is the seventh child in a family of nine children. The rich variety of her family life, combined with the multi-nationalities of rural South Africa, made her sensitive to the inner conflict between a person’s love for his cultural heritage and loyalty towards the country he calls home.
She acquired a BA degree in History at the University of Pretoria in 1973; and was transferred by the Logistics Company she worked for, to Atlanta, Georgia, in 2003, where she and her husband of 35 years currently reside.
Visit Suzette’s official website and follow her blog at




Q: What sparked the idea for “Shadow of Doubt”?

A: The controversy about the mosque being built at Ground Zero made me wonder about the general feeling of the neutral Muslims on the 9/11 attack. As Americans they were just as vulnerable as the next person. What does it feel like to be a Muslim in post 9/11 America? Are they being profiled?

Q: Who designed the cover and how much input did you have regarding the design?

A: My husband created the cover from designs, pictures and colors on the publisher’s website.

Q: Do you want to share some thoughts with your readers on “Shadow of Doubt”?

A: September 11, 2001 is the most important event in modern history. Going forward, that date will be the watershed: something happened before … or after.

Q: Did you learn anything from writing “Shadow of Doubt” and what was it?

A: Tolerance of other cultures, even if I don’t understand it.

Q: If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in “Shadow of Doubt”?

A: I wouldn’t, but I would love the readers to respond and tell me what they would‘ve liked me to change.

Q: What was one of the most surprising things you learned in creating “Shadow of Doubt”?

A: How extremely difficult it is to write a novel. There’s a lot more to it than just sitting down and writing a story.

Q: What were the challenges involved in bringing it to life?

A: Finding the truth. It seems that “truth” depends on a person’s cultural background, personal believes, emotions, previous experiences. Eventually I had to settle for a compromise.

Q: Is there a message in “Shadow of Doubt” that you want readers to grasp?

A: There is much more to life than your own little world.


Q: Where are you from?

A: I was born in South Africa in a time when it was safe to play outside with my siblings.

Q: Which book are you currently reading?

A: In the Name of Honor by Richard North Patterson – in hard copy. I actually need to read him on Kindle. He uses all these “big” words that I need to Google!

Q: Do you ever experience writer's block and how do you deal with it?

A: Not block no, only sheer laziness. Nothing a dose of Stephen King cannot solve. I think he scares me back to work.

Q: What are your 5 favorite books?

A:Stephen King - Duma Key; Khaled Hosseini - A Thousand Splendid Suns;
Richard North Patterson – Eclipse; Jeffrey Archer - Kane and Abel; and my personal private secret indulgence my friend, Madelie Human’s books

Q: What are your favourite books to give (and receive) as gifts?

A: Sydney Sheldon. No matter what taste preference, anybody can appreciate him.

Q: What else do you want your readers to know?

A: We relocated to the USA from South Africa in 2003. My oldest son and his wife are in New Zealand, the second son and his wife are in SA and the youngest is fighting a war in Iraq. It’s practically the United Nations. Setting up a family Skype conference call is a nightmare. The New Zealanders have to get up at 5 am, the South Africans have to stay up till 11 pm and the soldier has to negotiate a peace treaty for a few hours!

Q: If you can have dinner with one person, who would it be and why?

A: Jeffrey Deaver. He puts enormous time and effort into research. I would like to discuss the principles and application of kinesics with him.

Q: What do you do when you’re not writing?

A: Reading, movies, walking, winning arguments with my husband (of political nature, most of the time.)

Q: Four things on your Christmas wish list:

A: The Kindle Fire; Estee Lauder’s Sensuous Noir perfume; a Caribbean Cruise; and my whole family together for Christmas              


Q: What is your writing routine like?

A: I try to stick to a schedule of writing from eight to 12 in the morning and then again from 2 pm to 5 pm. But, I’m very open to any suggestion to break away for some fun.

Q: Which books/authors have influenced your writing?

A: Herman Wouk, Daleen Matthee, James Clavell. Books based on historical facts.

Q: What are your current projects?

A: I’m working on a psychological thriller about a woman in a religious cult. That’s why I want dinner with Jeffery Deaver about kinesics. Any chance that you could arrange that for me?

Q: Can you share a little of your current work with us?

A: Sure. A telephone call to the police sparked an investigation of the activities of the Fundamentalist Latter Day Saints about two years ago, causing Child Protection Services to take the children away from their parents and put the men of this religious cult in prison. The leader was convicted of the rape of twelve year old girls. My book is based on this, but not a factual recreation.

Q: Name one entity that you feel supported you outside of family members.

A: My school friend, Madelie Human.

Q: Do you see writing as a career?

A: I’m not sure. I have become addicted to writing. I want to write more and better stories. Perhaps one day I will look back and say yes, it was a career.

Q: Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?

A: Writing in ‘American’ English – which is a far cry from good old ‘British’ English.

Q: Have you ever hated something you wrote?

A: In “Shadow” the father of the main character, went into a rant against the Muslims. I hated that.

Q: What is your favourite theme/genre to write about?

A: Thrillers with a lot of emotion.

Q: Do you read reviews of your books? If so, do you pay any attention to them, or let them influence your writing?

A: Yes, I do. I need objective criticism to grow as a writer and improve the quality of my work.

Q: Where do you get your information or ideas for your books?

A: Newscasts. I put myself in the place of a person convicted of a felony and wonder what his background is, what his emotions are, what the motive for the deed was. “What makes him or her tick?” Who was the victim? Was the victim really as innocent as the media portrays him or her? What is the real truth behind the media’s story?
I would have made a bad judge; I can never distance myself from a perpetrator. Somewhere inside even the worst person, there must be something good. Somewhere out there is a person who loves him or her...

Q: Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?

A: I want to take you on a roller coaster of good and evil of laughing and crying of emotions that you never thought you were capable off.  Let me know how you experienced the ride. 

GIVEAWAY!! A signed copy of "Shadow of Doubt"
by Suzette Smit

Enter to win a signed copy of "Shadow of Doubt" by author Suzette Smit, by leaving a comment in the comments section on this page.

Giveaway ends on Saturday, 19 November 2011.
The winner will be announced on the Book Baby Facebook page on Sunday, 20 November 2011 - link to
The winner will be selected using

To purchase your own copy of "Shadow of Doubt" by Suzette Smit, click on the link on this page.


Wanda Hart said...

Oh this sound like a stunning book and since were both SA citizens I would love to add this book to my collection. Thanks for donating Suzette Smit and a good job Book Baby.

Anonymous said...

What an interesting read. I would love to add this to my collection.

Felicia Rogers

Annie Taylor said...

It seems to be a amazing book! I would love to read it. Love stories based on real life! 9/11 was a profound time in history.

Grace said...

I would love to win it!

BookBaby said...

To everyone who has entered the giveaway of Suzette's book "Shadow of Doubt", thank you! Please add your e-mail addresses so that we can contact you if you've won.
Many Thanks!!

trayche said...

Looks amazing. I would love to have it :)