Cate: Please welcome Sandra Sookoo to the Author Spotlight. Sandra, will you please share a short bio with us?
Sandra: Sandra is a writer of romantic fiction. Her portfolio includes historical, contemporary, and paranormal romances and she loves to blend genres and spice them up.
After catching the writing bug at the young age of ten, she’s gone on to grow her unique writing style. She’s a regular contributor for the Paranormal Romantic’s blog and blogs bi-monthly with a great group of women at Embrace the Shadows.
When not immersed in creating new worlds and interesting characters, Sandra likes to read, bake and travel. Her favorite place to spend vacation hours is Walt Disney World. It’s where dreams come true, and that suits her just fine.
Writing is her ultimate dream job.
Cate: Tell us about The Art of Fang Shui and where it's available.
Sandra: My latest release is the PRINT format version for my humorous, paranormal romance The Art of Fang Shui from Eirelander Publishing. It’s my first time in print so I’m pretty excited about it.
Cate: Very exciting! Nothing like holding your baby in your hands. :) Please tantalize us with a story blurb or excerpt.
Sandra: Blurb: Hannah doesn’t believe in things that go bump in the night – until they start accumulating on her doorstep. A Power Enhancer, her gift jumps to the forefront of her life, and she has no choice but to take notice when dishy, arrogant Edwin attempts to kidnap her as part of a covert mission to save the Eight Realms.
Edwin is a half-vamp, intent on collecting the bounty on errant paranormal beings. His best-laid plans go awry when he meets stubborn Hannah. He needs her energies in order to vanquish the power-hungry Demon Lord, Andre who’s bent on destroying the world. He’s thrown off guard as she bewitches him with her sarcastic nature as well as her tempting curves.
Together the unlikely duo finds themselves flung into a sticky web of supernatural foes and dark deceit in their quest to protect the world’s magic. If they’re lucky, love will meet them on the other side.
Hannah’s heart beat frantically, as if searching for the escape her body couldn’t provide. “Should I be afraid of you, Edwin Mason?” All the old stories she’d ever heard about vampires resurfaced in her mind to multiply like rabbits. Fear clogged her throat. Had it been his plan all along to lure me out into a remote part of the wilderness so that he could dispatch me without witnesses? Will he drain my blood and leave my empty husk of a body in the underbrush? “I think I made a mistake when I agreed to accompany you.”
“I give you my promise and my word. I will never hurt you.” His breath warmed her cheek. “I believe that without you, I would likely succumb to my darker side and become the soulless monster I am destined to evolve into.”
Her fear fled in the face of her anger. “That’s enough!” Rolling over, Hannah pushed Edwin onto his back. She frowned at his startled expression. “You’re only destined to become whatever you want to become. You have vampire genes. So what? Get over it. We all have dark sides and things we would rather not deal with, but unless you plan on living out the remainder of your life in a perpetual bad mood it doesn’t matter. None of it matters, don’t you get it?”
She slapped her palm against his chest and came perilously close to derailing her speech by the realization that he really was the buffest man she’d met. “Don’t you understand? To me, you’re just Edwin Mason, the handsome paranormal bounty hunter who tries his best to order me around but fails miserably at it.” She smiled down into his face from her new propped up position on his chest. “You’re just you.” She stretched her legs, glad of the fire that took away the chill even though she suspected most of the warmth originated from him.
“Are you quite done with this unexpected outburst?” Edwin’s dark eyes twinkled as the long elegant fingers of one hand trailed up her leg.
Small ripples of heat spiraled up her flesh in teasing circles. “Not quite. Let me finish by saying, whether you believe yourself capable of it or not, you have shown me nothing but respect and compassion during our time together. Your desire to track Andre means you have a rigid sense of justice. But just remind yourself from time to time that companionship and friendship can be very beneficial.” Her words dried in her throat when his hand slipped under her shirt to brush the sensitive skin at her hip. Tiny fires ignited in her bloodstream. She revised her earlier assessment of his character.
Edwin was most assuredly dangerous, but not in the way she had first thought.
“Perhaps you are right, Hannah. It has been a very long time indeed since I had someone to share my life.” With panther like precision, he flipped her onto her back. Hannah became trapped between his arms. “I have been remiss in not taking advantage of a willing female…” He lowered his head until his lips were but a hairsbreadth from hers. “Is that what you meant?”
Her senses were on red alert. Her body clamored for his attention, but it was his choice of words that kept her from giving in to temptation. “When, or if, we choose to indulge in any kind of relationship, you most certainly will not take advantage of me. That I can promise you. We’re partners, remember?” She meant to leave the conversation at that particular stopping point, but she never had been good at leaving things alone. With a small sigh, she gave in to that which she had been curious about since she met him.
Before she could change her mind, Hannah pulled his face to hers and kissed him.
The mere joining of their lips created pinwheels of colors within her mind. Just as things became interesting, she smiled against his mouth, and then gently pushed him away. Damn. She willed her body to settle down. “I would hate to shove you into something you’re not mentally ready for. However, if you should change your mind, let me know.”
She turned onto her side with her back to him. If that kiss didn’t melt some of the icy reserve he kept around his feelings, she didn’t know what would.
Cate: What inspired you to write about the theme?
Sandra: The theme of this book is that true love can overcome any obstacle. I wrote this book because I love the paranormal world and think it lends itself well to showcasing love between a human and a not-quite-human person. If they can conquer those differences, the rest is easy.
Cate: How do you develop your plots and characters?
Sandra: I’m a big believer in outlining a book before the actual writing starts. At least then I can see “at a glance” how the plot is developing and how the characters’ stories will feed into it. Of course, as the book progresses, the outline will change depending on what happens.
Cate: Do you feel as if the characters live with you as you write? Do they haunt your dreams?
Sandra: Sometimes, they won’t leave me alone and I’ll wake up in the middle of the night needing to write. Or, if a scene isn’t quite right, they will nag at me until I fix it. Really, they’re like uninvited houseguests that don’t leave until they’ve eaten all your food. But that’s okay. It means the story will be a good one.
Cate: What's next for you?
Sandra: Well, right now I’m writing the third paranormal romance in this trilogy. The Art of Fang Shui is the first book. The book I’m writing now is about a dragon. I’ve never written about them before and it’s quite exciting.
Cate: Very cool. Any other published works?
Sandra: In June, the 2nd book of this trilogy will be released from Eirelander Publishing called Vegetarian at Midnight. This one centers around a handsome, arrogant werewolf and his human love interest, a vegetarian.
Also that month, my first and only mystery romance is releasing.
Visit my website for more details: http://www.sandrasookoo.com
Here's the blurb for Vegetarian at Midnight:
Sometimes the love of meat is only the beginning of the problem.
Sophia has issues beyond being near-sighted. Bound to work for a power-hungry Portal Master for the next 90 years, her crown-shaped birthmark might set her apart, but her vegetarian status makes her unforgettable. She can’t get afford to be distracted by Xavier’s Adonis-like features because she knows she’ll betray him eventually.
Golden-curled, fedora-wearing Xavier’s a man with issues. Under a gypsy curse that compels him to morph into a werewolf, he wants nothing more than to convince the Portal Master to lift that blight. The only way to that exulted individual is through Sophia, but her stubbornness and fearful disposition heat his blood and annoy him at the same time.
Can a carnivore and a vegetarian thwart the odds to beat the curse, or will the Immortal Court of the Eight Realms pass judgment on all paranormal beings before Sophia and Xavier discover that opposites do attract and mates can survive life’s problems?
And here's the blurb for Dead Ruby Slippers:
Dancing may be hard…but no one expected it to be murder.
When sexy tap dancer Abigail Carlton, a.k.a. Ruby Slippers, is found dead and arranged in an artistic fashion on her coffee table, it’s up to Special Agent Quentin Banks to solve her murder.
But nothing is ever as it seems. Not only is Quentin a FBI career man, he doubles as an officer for the Institute of Magical Instruction…and the dancer’s death has super natural energy written all over it.
Quentin must find who murdered Abigail, and he only has 24 hours to do it before it’s taken over by his superiors.
Cate: Describe your writing in three words.
Sandra: Funny, emotional, descriptive
Cate: What’s the most challenging aspect of writing? Most rewarding?
Sandra: The most challenging thing is making sure the current book is as good as the last one. Sometimes keeping all the balls in the air (goals, motivation, conflict, drama, tension, etc) is hard. The most rewarding thing? Seeing the final product after edits and saying “Yeah, that is a great book.” Or getting fan mail telling me how much they loved a book.
Cate: What’s the most interesting comment you have received about your books?
Sandra: That someone didn’t mind being snowbound in there house because one of my historicals made her forget the terrible weather.
Cate: How wonderful! Who are some of your favorite authors and books? What are you reading now?
Sandra: I have all kinds of favorites that span multiple genres. While I’m embroiled in a writing project, I don’t really read. When I take breaks from writing, that’s when I’ll indulge in a book. My next break comes at the end of April.
Cate: Where can readers find you on the web?
Sandra: http://www.sandrasookoo.com. I’m also on Facebook, Twitter and blog around the web during the week. Links to all these places are on the front page of my website.
Cate: Is there anything you’d like to ask our readers?
Sandra: What are you tired of reading? What would you give anything to see an author write about? If it’s interesting to me, I’ll tackle it.
Cate: Readers, Sandra is giving away a book to a random commenter... so start commenting. The winner can select any ebook from Sandra’s 2009 backlist. Be sure to leave your email address so Sandra will be able to contact the lucky winner! She’ll announce the winner tomorrow night.