Friday, June 8, 2012

Book Friday - Sandra Sookoo

Today we have the delightful (and prolific) Sandra Sookoo in the spotlight.  Sandra is one of my favorite people and I really enjoy her work.  Check out work and you'll fall in love with her too.  Also, make sure to stop by her blog.  She's a Disney fan and has a fun post on the subject each week, as well as other interesting subjects and guests. 

Now here is Sandra!!!!
Thanks for having me back on your blog, Lizzie!
Today, I’d like to talk about one of my favorite books I wrote called Winging It.  Since summer’s bearing down on us, I thought this is a great story to read poolside.
When I first set out to write this piece, I knew I wanted polar opposites in the story.  You have the hero Dev who is an ex-military guy.  His viewpoints are black-and-white, and he's a no-nonsense type of man who doesn't have much time to fun or happiness.  Unable to shake some of the horror he's seen while deployed in Afghanistan, he's thrown for a major loop when he crashes--literally--into Lia, a fairy whose life revolves around smiles, flirtations and laughter.  She's never known hardship or heartache.  What better conflict than to throw these two together? 
Midway through the project, I became stalled and needed to set the piece aside anyway in favor of doing a mountain of other work that needed more immediate attention.  It wasn't until I threw my 2011 Valentine's Day party on my blog that I got the shot in the arm I needed to finish this book.  I had asked the readers attending the event to tell me how they met their husbands or significant others.  One of my friends--Wendy--shared the best story of meeting her military man.  I liked her story so much, it got me so excited that I dug WINGING IT back out and finished it within the month.  I dedicated the book to her.
Life's very interesting, don't you think?
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Joy and despair, light and dark, you can’t have one without the other.
Devlin Addams has recently returned home from Afghanistan.  Haunted by memories that he survived the fighting while his buddies didn't, as well as chased by the knowledge his mom is crazy, he’s having trouble acclimating himself to civilian life. Now, armed with a dog and a therapist, he constantly battles the urge to end it all.
Lia Farry—because her Fae name is a mouthful—has tumbled into the Mortal Realm through the Veil between worlds by mysterious circumstances.  Thrust into a new and harsh human existence, finding anything to be happy about is hard. If she can’t go home, she’ll have to make it work.
Forced to interact, Dev’s protective instincts kick in, but he’s unprepared for the onslaught of lust Lia represents.  He wants a normal life but not at the expense of getting involved.  Lia knows she soothes his torment yet she’s battling her own problems. Desiring Dev is a dangerous prospect.  Add in a meddling Fae queen and suddenly life as they know it will change forever.  Love is at stake.  A leap of faith is all they have to depend on.
In this snippet, Dev and Lia are at a super store. He’s trying to help her find clothes and it’s not going well.
“Where did you get the scar on your belly?” Lia had seen the silvery scar that stretched across his abdomen like a snake and wondered about it. Did humans not heal automatically when they became injured? Did they not have practitioners of magic who mixed mystical poultices? Could they not commune with the energy in the Earth and bathe in the power gained from living things?
It’s none of your business.” Dev abandoned the rack and moved to the next one.
Her frown deepened, and she wondered why he didn’t wish to talk of it. As fast as it came, she banished the frown with a smile. “Can I touch your hair? I’ve never seen any man keep his hair quite so short. It looks prickly.” Lia giggled as she followed him through the maze of displays. Blond, with hints of red in some lighting, the strands stood less than half an inch on the top of his head, shorter than that on the sides and back. It was…intriguing.
“Why the hell do you want to feel my hair?” He swung around so quickly she almost bumped into him. “And no. Find something to wear.”
“I don’t like anything here.” When he leaned into her personal space, she gasped and backed up, tripping on the unfamiliar and too-big canvas shoes he’d given her upon leaving his house. Dev shot out a hand, fisting his fingers in her shirt front before she tumbled into a stack of t-shirts on a low table. “Can we please leave?” So close she could see each one of his blond eyelashes, she swallowed, held captive by his very angry gaze. As if he’d been burned, he released his grip, and this time when she stumbled, it wasn’t due to screwed-up equilibrium.
He held a wealth of secrets, rage and heartache in those eyes. She wished to draw them out, take them into herself in order to make him happy. Lia wondered if he’d ever laughed in lighthearted glee. She suspected it had been a long time since he’d been happy.
“I should have known shopping would be a train wreck, same as the pizza.” He edged backward, turning his attention to the shirts.
Lia shivered, as much from the loss of his heated presence as from the memory of that hideous food he’d called pizza. What was one supposed to do with such a flat, messy food that dripped grease and a red sauce that resembled blood?
She trailed after him, touching the fabrics as she went past. Were humans incapable of making anything nice? Did they not care what they covered their bodies with? Again, the loud, echoing voice boomed through the store. She whimpered and resisted the urge to cover her ears. Obviously, Dev didn’t like it when she did that. “Can we go home and come back tomorrow? We can bring Zeus.”
Dev turned and shoved a stack of haphazardly-folded clothes into her hands. “No. We’re doing this tonight, and besides, dogs aren’t allowed in the store.”
“I don’t like these.” She attempted to return them, but he piled on another stack, this time of some sort of heavy blue material. “Or those.”
“Too bad.” He gripped her upper arm and propelled her through the racks toward a cluster of booths with the words: Dressing Rooms over them. “You can’t keep wearing my sweatpants. Sooner or later they’ll slide down and show your business to the world.” With a smack to her rear end, he pushed her toward one of the cubicles. “Try these on. I’ll see if I can find some underpants and other stuff.”
He was gone before she could question him or the warmth that flooded her insides at his fleeting touch.
A woman, years younger than her and wearing a blue vest with red lettering, approached her, a sympathetic expression on her face. “Don’t worry, hun. Men aren’t the best when it comes to shopping.” She took the clothes from Lia’s arms and dumped them on a nearby countertop. “These are the wrong size, but I’ll fix ya up and bring the lingerie, too.”
Lia didn’t know what lingerie was, but she liked the sound of it. “Thank you. Dev’s a little grouchy tonight.” A grin lifted the corners of her mouth, and she felt her customary good humor creep into her soul.
“I can just imagine. His type gets like that without a good, regular lay.” The woman’s brown eyes sparkled, and the store lighting winked off a ring in her right eyebrow. “You keep him on that hook, and he’ll do anything you want pretty soon.”
“I don’t have a hook.” Lia’s smile faltered as the clerk snorted. It didn’t matter. Dev needs to smile. He’s too prickly—like his hair. Maybe his hair causes his bad mood! She shrugged. I’ll make him laugh somehow. With a sigh, she focused on what the blue vest lady said. “Do you think Dev has magic?” She didn’t protest as the woman led her into one of the dreary gray booths.
“Yeah, from the looks of that body, I’d say he’s got some real good magic. I’ll bet his package is huge.” 
Excitement rose in Lia’s chest. Ooh, did that mean Dev had a surprise waiting back at his house? She wondered what it could be. “I love surprises.”
I absolutely adored writing these characters.  I hope you'll pick up a copy of this book.
And since the story of how the book came into being kinda revolves around Valentine’s Day, here’s a quick little recipe for chocolate ganache.  Of course, you can use this for tons of things, and since summer is upon us, why not get your daily fruit intake in with it?
Chocolate Ganache
9 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped (you can also use chocolate chips)
1 cup heavy cream
1 tablespoon of your favorite liquor (raspberry, rum, orange, almond, etc.)
Place the chocolate into a medium bowl. Heat the cream in a small sauce pan over medium heat. Bring just to a boil. Keep an eye on it to prevent boiling over. When the cream has come to a boil, pour over the chocolate, and whisk until smooth. Stir in the flavoring. 
Allow the ganache to cool slightly before application (dipping or pouring).
Giveaway on this post.  Since summer is upon us, I’m giving away a $5.00 Starbucks gift card.  Have a frap or iced coffee on me!  Random winner will also get a subscription to my newsletter plus book swag.  Please leave your contact info!


Sandra Sookoo said...

Thanks for having me on you blog!

Sondrae Bennett said...

Sounds like a very fun book! I've enjoyed everything I've read by Sandra, although I wish I had time to read more. This does indeed sound like the perfect poolside book!

steph beck said...

New book and chcolate yumminess? Oh my dear, Sandra Sookoo, you are so my favorite!

Stephanie Beck
s . becken (at) yahoo . com

Unknown said...

First of all, thanks for the ganache recipe. My weakness is chocolate - well one of them ;)

Winging It sounds delightful and I am adding it to my TBR pile. Can't wait to get it!

DawnsReadingNook said...

Oh I like the sound of this one. Have to add it in my reading list.

Unknown said...

Loved having you on my blog last week, thanks! There were several people who enjoyed the post! I love your stories and my hats off to you and your energy to write as many books as you have. Thanks for becoming one of my online friends.

Sandra Sookoo said...

All you ladies are so lovely for coming out! Thanks for thinking Winging It sounds interesting. It was so fun to write Dev's story. I hope you'll grab a copy! And the ganache is awesome too. Hope you'll try it!

Unknown said...

Congrats on the release. I'll have to try the recipe.