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Monday, February 15, 2010

YA Author Spotlight Presents...

Sandra - Framed
Sandra Cox!!!

We're bringing Sandra back into the moonlight this week as she debuts her newest release, Vampire Island! This is the first book in her Hunters series.

What's this book about?

So glad that you asked! Let's start with the trailer, it's got some cool spooky music in it and gives you a little bit of info and I'll fill in some info after you're done watching it:




Okay, now that you've seen the trailer, you know that Zoe's parents are murdered, causing her whole life to change, and not necessarily for the better. She ends up being uprooted to live with her estranged Uncle Julian on an island off the coast of Nassau in the Bahamas.

Whoa! Nassau! In the Bahamas! I know what you're thinking, sounds pretty good, right? Yeah, but would you want to live on Vampire Island?

Yep, that's it's name alright. No one, but Uncle Julian as far as Zoe can tell, lives there and all the shop keepers and workers go home before dark.

Why is that you might ask?

Well...the bats aren't your normal everyday bats. Sure, they're of the vampire species, only these tend to turn into nasty, fanged humans if not surrounded by garlic!

If you think you're having trouble believing it, you're not alone! Zoe doesn't believe it either and does her best to remain in denial. That is until she sees something so horrific she can no longer deny the truth of what's going on around her. Once she begins to accept things, her uncle reveals the truth about her, that there's something very special about her.

I won't go into any details, because that would ruin the fun of reading the book now wouldn't it? I've had a chance to read the book this weekend and here's what I found within its pages:
1. complex characters and plot
2. very believable character dynamics, interactions and reactions
3. reminder of what it's like to be a teenager (even though it was brief)
4. a few hotties (Uncle Julian being the best in my opinion)
5. the protections and companionship of an Ocelot named Oz (he has really cool silver claws!)
6. a too short vacation in a warm exotic place
7. lots of fun and mayhem! 

Want to experience it for yourself? Stick around because after the interview, there's an excerpt to Vampire Island! Now, let's get to the good stuff!

ME: Do you have any Valentine’s Day traditions like watching a Lifetime Channel movie marathon, spending the day with your significant other, writing, etc.? Do you have a favorite movie that you love to watch or a book you like to read on Valentine’s Day? Is there any movie or book that you’ve saved for this time of year? If so, what’s the title?

SANDRA: You mean besides eating lots and lots of chocolate? (G)
I like to dig out the old seasonal Regencies. I think Marian Devon was the queen of the Regency genre. Her writing embodied Regency: funny, innocent and romantic. On Valentine’s I like to read, ‘A Heart on His Sleeve.’

ME: Many of us feel that Valentine’s Day is just one more day that has been overly commercialized and isn’t something that should only be celebrated once a year, but at least once a day. What was the most romantic gift you’ve ever received, when did you receive it and who was it from?

SANDRA: My most romantic gift, hmm…..
My husband surprised me with an anniversary ring when we went on a cruise to celebrate our anniversary.

I really like the idea of making every day, Valentine’s Day. Now that’s romantic.

ME: Since this is the time of year when many people (teens included) feel the need to find a significant other, what suggestion(s) do you have for our readers as to what trait(s) should be added to their list?

SANDRA: Look for someone who’s sincerely interested in you as a person. Who listens to you and really hears what you have to say. And of course return the favor, listen to them. With some people, ‘it’s all about me’. That doesn’t really make for a satisfying relationship. Find someone who makes you feel like the most special person in the world.

ME: There are many relationship superstitions out there such as, “rain on your wedding day is bad luck,” are you superstitious when it comes to love or relationships? Why or why not? If so, what superstitions do you believe have merit?

SANDRA: I’m not really superstitious, maybe a bit of a fatalist. If it’s meant to be, it’s meant to be.

ME: Do you believe in ghosts? Do you believe in the power of love? If so, do you think that love can exist beyond this life and carry over into the next or has the power to keep a soul attached to the mortal coil never to cross over? Do you believe that ghosts have the ability to effect humans in a sexual manner?

SANDRA: Yes I believe in…
Ghosts
Most definitely the power of love and that love can carry over and has the power to keep a soul attached to earth.
As far as the sexual effect, let me just say, I’ve never had any such experiences, but it sounds intriguing!

ME: Please tell us, if you have any, 3 funny, strange or silly things that happened to you, or someone you know, on past Valentine’s Days. Any rendezvous fiascos that you now find humorous to tell? Have they ever been inspiration for some hi-jinks in your stories? Which ones? (Sharing may help others not feel so bad if it happened to them, as the saying goes, “misery loves company”)

SANDRA: Wore jeans on a first date to what I thought was a casual concert. Everyone else had dressed up. Mortifying.

My date and I were to hook up with another couple to see a movie. Unfortunately, I didn’t realize two different theatres were showing the same movie. They went to one theatre and we went to another.

One year, my husband and I--with no prior knowledge—got each other the same valentine card. My kids thought it was a hoot.

ME: Now, let’s get to your writing:

ME: What genre is your work considered to be (besides YA Fiction)? Why this genre? What was the draw for you?

SANDRA: Paranormal and fantasy.
I love fantasy. The idea that fairytales can come true, that anything we believe is possible is a wonderful high, even the darker side of fantasy, like vampires. Because if vampires are real, then we have real heroes and heroines to fight them, people that are larger than life, with courage to stand up and do the right thing regardless of the odds.

ME: If you could describe your writing with a word or phrase, what would it be? Please be creative and delve into the core of your writing to tell us what word or phrase you want readers to take with them when they've finished reading your story.

SANDRA: That the improbable is possible.

ME: Do you prefer romantic gifts (flowers, chocolate, jewelry, etc.) or romantic acts (massages, dinners, fun night out, etc.)? Does that show through in your writing? If so, how?

SANDRA: I want it all. (G) Both work just fine for me.

Yes, I think it does. I like my heroes to be strong, manly men, with a deep romantic streak. No sacrifice is too great for the women they love. (G)

ME: What school of thought are you when it comes to romance, love at first sight or that love takes time? Does this show through in your writing? If so, how?

SANDRA: I’m definitely a believer in love at first sight. But my characters are never allowed to acknowledge those feelings, or even realize them, at the beginning of the book. The most they can admit to is an intense attraction.

ME: When reading stories, many of us find secondary characters to be as interesting as or more interesting than the main characters. Are there any secondary characters that you plan on giving their own story? Or any that readers have requested have their own story? Are any of them your favorites? Why?

SANDRA: Bella Tremaine and Hank McHenry were secondary characters in Boji Stones and became the central figures in Rose Quartz. They are two of my all time favorites. Bella is just such a girlie girl and Hank is the strong silent type.

And for those who are reading Vampire Island, look for another appearance of Braden Knight in the Hunter Series.

ME: Of all of your heroes, who would you say is the most romantic and why?

SANDRA: Hank got Bella a pink diamond engagement ring, because it reminded him of her. It was an unexpected gesture from a strong, silent, cowboy type.

ME: Of all of your heroes, who would you say is the least romantic and why?

SANDRA: I can’t really dis any of my heroes. In their own way, they’re all romantics. Some of them just hide it better than others.

Vampire IslandBLURB:

My name is Zoe Tempest. Just let me say, I had no intention of becoming a vampire hunter. My world revolved around the trendiest clothes, the boy of the week, shopping, and texting.

My life was as close to perfect as a seventeen year old’s can get. I had everything. Then my parents were murdered and my world came crashing down. After their funeral, I went to live with my uncle Julian Kilmer. That is when everything changed. In a manner more terrifying than anything I could have imagined.

EXCERPT:
“Don’t go out after dark.”

“You’re joking right?” I said the first thing that came into my head then heaved a sigh from deep in my flat, toned belly. In the short twenty-some odd hours I’d known him, the dark brooding man standing in front of me had never cracked a smile let alone joked. Too bad, for an older man—he’s thirty-seven if he’s a day—Uncle Julian is a bit of a hottie…in an intense sort of way. His olive-colored skin stretches tight across high cheekbones. His thin nose reminds me of a predatory hawk.

I really couldn’t say a thing about his eyes. I’d never seen them. He invariably wore dark glasses.

“I never joke.”

There’s a news flash.

We stood in the dark gloomy hall of his mansion. As thunder boomed, the lights flickered. Moments later a streak of white lightning, visible through the long narrow window, hit nearby. The floor shook. Outside something screamed in the night. Though the room felt hot and stuffy, goose bumps roughened my skin. I rubbed my arms.

He leaned toward me. His shadow loomed menacingly across the floor engulfing me in black.

Before I could stop myself, I took a hasty step back and bumped against the door. The cool knob pressed into my back. He might be my uncle, but he was a stranger and a scary one at that.

With his index finger, he pulled down the sunglasses and looked over them. I gasped. His eyes were the same distinctive cobalt as my own. But where my eyes only added to my Barbie doll appearance, his sucked you in like a vortex. As if he could suction every thought right out of your head just by looking at you.

Get a grip, Zoe.

A trace of unease flickered across his face. “You aren’t sick are you?”

“No. What makes you think that?”

“You’re white as a sheet. Goose bumps are standing up on your arms like a plucked turkey.”

Being a vegetarian, the mental image wasn’t exactly a pleasant one. I gathered my courage and asked “Why can’t I go out?”

“Because I said so.”

I barely refrained from rolling my eyes.

He shifted his weight, his expression impatient.

The silence stretched between us.

Cold clammy beads of sweat trickled between my shoulder blades. I twitched my shoulders.

“Well?” I demanded fisting my hands on my hips.

“Because it’s dangerous,” he said curtly.

“What do you mean?”

He raised a black slashed eyebrow. “What about dangerous don’t you understand?”

I watched his gaze travel over my hot pink top and short white skirt. When his glance came to rest on my manicured toenails visible in my pink polka dot sandals with rhinestone bows, he shook his head his expression dismissive.

I shouldn’t have let it bother me. I was used to being looked at like an empty-headed blonde who’s only thought was her wardrobe. I even encouraged it. But it hurt coming from family. If he’d been around while I was growing up, he’d know better.

“This is the Bahamas. How dangerous can it be?” I challenged, straightening my shoulders and lifting my chin. Why should I care what this man thinks of me?

“This is a remote, unknown island in the Bahamas.” He flicked an imaginary piece of lint off his black silk shirt.

“Does this remote island have a name?”

His cobalt gaze locked with mine. The deep black flecks in them flickered like crashing tidal waves. “Vampire Island.”

Vampire Island goes on sale February 15th!

For more information check out:
Sandra's website: www.sandracox.com
Sandra's blog: downtownya.blogspot.com

Please check out my review of Vampire Island that goes live February 20th on our main blog!

10 comments:

Sandra Cox said...

Carrie, you're the woman.

Carrie said...

Thanks Sandra!

susan said...

Sandra,I was brave enough to read the excerpt and it does sound bone chilling but good. Love the trailer and the music even woke up my cat..I think that means it is a good book. Cats do know things humans don't know. ha susan L.

Erika Gilbert said...

Wow, your excerpt really grabbed me. I want to read more about Vamire Island. Great Interview too.

Sandra Cox said...

Hi Susan, We've got 5 cats and everyone of them is convinced they know more than their feeble human counterparts. And they are probably right:)

Hey Erika, Thanks! Glad you enjoyed it.

I probably should have mentioned VI is available at Class Act Books, www.classactbooks.com.

And...I've got a contest going at downtownya.blogspot.com for an opportunity to win a pair of vampire red and hissss silver earrings and an autographed copy of VI. Please stop by. I'd love to have you.

Amarinda Jones said...

Seriously, I am buying this book because the Uncle intrigues me...oh yeah, and you're a great writer, I have all your books and a good mate but that uncle comes first

Sandra Cox said...

Amarinda, LOL, We do have to have our priorities, don't we?:)

Julia Rachel Barrett said...

This sounds like such an amazing work - and I know what kind of writer you are! Can't wait to read it!

Sandra Cox said...

Hey, Julia! How are you? Back at you as far as writing. Thanks for stopping by.

Carrie said...

It's very cool to see new faces here in the YA Room!

Thanks for stopping by. I hope you stop back and visit with us again!