I am happy to introduce Sandra Sookoo to the blog. I first read Sandra’s work when I traversed into the world of Strange Hollow. Ironically, she going back to the Hollow in her new novel Marking Time.
Tell me about Strange Hollow.
Strange Hollow is a fictional town set at the base of Mt. Mitchell in North Carolina. It's one of Liquid Silver's imprints wherein multiple authors have written books set within this world. Strange Hollow is a haven for the strange, weird and general outcasts of their own worlds. They come to Strange Hollow for a sense of community they don't get from their own broken lives. The town comes with few rules, one of which is that elitists will be eaten on sight.
Tell me about Marking Time.
Marking Time is my second entry into the world of Strange Hollow. I wanted to do something different from what's already been done in the line, so my story starts off in modern day times then the heroine Ava is shot backward in time to the town's founding year of 1900. I liked the aspect of this since Ava's pretty smug about her life. I wanted her to be out of her element and to see how she'd interact in a completely different world. She has to deal with all of this plus have constant arguments with her inner latent wolf.
As for my hero Sam, well, let's just say his time is limited. He's a phoenix and he's dying. Trouble with that is because he's old in phoenix years, certain parts of his anatomy don't work properly which leaves him sad. He has no wife or heirs to show for his life. When he unexpectedly sees Ava, he thinks she might be his last shot at making his mark on the world.
Here's the book video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bNfVHKyxHK4
Rate Marking Time in terms of steaminess.
Well, hmm, let's see… There's a strong-willed heroine who knows exactly what she wants--in bed and out of it. There's a hero on the edge who needs extra incentive to get his interest going. Oh, and let's not forget illicit kisses in gardens, stolen moments of heavy petting in shadowy corners and a couple of romps in the sheets. What more can I say? lol
Who is your favorite Paranormal Romance Author?
Hmm, I don't know that I have one set favorite. I like Katie MacAlister, Stephanie Rowe, Karen Moning and Judi Fennell for starters. It just depends on what mood I'm in.
What is your favorite Paranormal Romance series/book?
Don't have one. I like all books for different reasons.
Who is your favorite Paranormal Romance character? Why?
Since I read such a wide variety of books, I'm not sure I can pick just one favorite character. They're all unique in their own different ways. Had the question been regarding sci-fi or historical romance then I could list a bunch, but with paranormal? Hmm… let me think on that.
If you could take that person out for a date, what would you do? Details Please! *wink*
Well, knowing me, there'd be some sort of embarrassing moment, some undo attention called toward us, the requisite "omg she's really odd" glance. To be wined and dined by a vampire, werewolf or any other assorted paranormal being? I'd have a million questions, and would probably take notes wherein the man in question might be a tad irritated lol Then again, he'd have to work pretty hard with the charm. I wouldn't say no to a quick trip to Tuscany or maybe a layover in the Caribbean. I mean, after all, a girl needs a fantastic backdrop when being told her soon-to-be lover is not exactly fully human, ya know?
Ava – What was your first impression of Sam?
Oh, I thought he was sexy… and seemed tired. I remember wondering why at the time, but he just had a way of pouring on the charm. Definitely a guy used to getting his own way. It didn't help my damn inner wolf kept wanting to jump his bones. She ended up being right since every time he touched me… erhm, well, I'll let you read our story.
Ava – What is your favorite part about him?
His eyes. They're so brown and rich, then there's his voice. He could recite the alphabet and I'd have issues in my southern hemisphere if you know what I mean, not to mention the man's been through a lot. I gotta give him credit for surviving.
Sam – What was your first impression of Ava?
Honestly, that she was lost and wouldn't fit in if she didn't follow the rules. All of that was forgotten shortly after I talked to her that first time, especially dressed as she was in her strange clothing. How the males in her world controlled themselves while their women wear such provocative attire I'll never know.
Sam – What is your favorite part about her?
Her willingness to help and understand. Also, she has a way of looking at me that makes my blood start a slow burn. And her scent! God help me, she's intoxicating!
Sandra – What is next for you? Are you ever planning to visit Strange Hollow Again?
I'm not sure that I'll be traversing the streets of Strange Hollow again. It's a nice place to visit but I have many stops on my writing horizon. What's next? Maybe the question should be what isn't? lol Once I finish up this American historical, I'll finish a retelling of a fairy tale then it's on to my next sci-fi endeavor. Really excited about this one! After that, there's a series of novellas I want to develop. Can't wait to work on those either. There's always something going on in the world of Sookoo. Hope you pop by to see what's going on!
Thank you so much Sandra for stopping by and Good Luck on your tour and your release! I for one will be picking this one up!
To learn more about Sandra:
Believing is Seeing blog: http://sandrasookoo.wordpress.com/
Here is the blurb and excerpt for Marking Time, available at Liquid Silver Books http://www.liquidsilverbooks.com/books/markingtime.htm
Blurb: Sometimes the destination is not as important as the journey.
Ava Lesarris has her life figured out. She has a great job, has accepted her latent wolf shifter identity and is looking forward to climbing the corporate ladder. When a faulty GPS unit leads her to a town called Strange Hollow, she’s in a quandary, even more so when she’s suddenly transported back to the year 1900.
Sam Tremaine is the last of his kind. He’s a phoenix, living in Strange Hollow during what should have been its greatest time—the founding year, but he can’t enjoy it. He’s dying which leaves him with one regret. He’s never found a woman whose spirit is as strong as his own. He wants be remembered but time is running out, not to mention he hasn’t been able to get “it” up for months.
Worlds collide as the past and present come together in Strange Hollow. Ava will need to figure out her purpose while Sam struggles to come to terms with his fate. If they’re lucky, the special town will offer the answers they’re both seeking before the next phase of life begins.
She hit the ground with a hard thump that jarred every bone in her body. “Good grief! Talk about a stiff wind.” Struggling to her feet, Ava knocked the dust off the seat of her pants. “Is this normal weather for this area?”
“Welcome to Strange Hollow, Miss Lesarris.” The greeting held lyrical notes that reminded her of birdsong--Jacinda’s voice.
“Um, you already said that.” Ava narrowed her eyes as the last of the whirlwind faded and she could actually see her surroundings.
Town Hall stood before her as well as the same cozy shops, except they held a veneer of newness about them, as if they’d only been erected not long ago. In fact, Ava swore she could smell the sweet fragrance of newly-cut lumber in the air.
Spinning around in a slow circle, Ava gawked at some of the other differences. The streets lining the square weren’t made of asphalt. Instead, cobblestones formed the ground cover. A horse pulled a smart, black carriage along one street and the ring of its shoes against the brickwork echoed in the afternoon air. In the distance, the long, mournful whistle of a train put her in mind of simpler times.
When she turned back to stare at the strange woman she’d just met, her stomach clenched into knots. I have a bad feeling about this. Even more surprising, her wolf remained silent. “Where are we?”
Jacinda tucked a strand of hair behind an ear. “Strange Hollow, of course, but it is more a question of when we are that you might like to consider.”
“What are you talking about?” A low-grade headache formed between her eyebrows. “Where’s my car?” As her heart tried to pound its way out of her rib cage, she glanced at the street. No sign of her rental. Which meant her pharmaceutical case, her cell phone and her purse were also gone. “Lady, I need answers, right now.”
Time to get to the bottom of this hallucination.
“I am sure you do, but I cannot give them to you.” Another enigmatic smile passed over her round face. “I can tell you this. You have come to the right place, yet not the right time. You are here to find what you think you do not need.”
Ava blinked, unable to wrap her brain around the whole, weird tale. “Okay. Why am I here? What is it I need?” Her gaze skittered to a few residents walking along the street. Both males and females were dressed in the same quaint clothing that Jacinda wore. Everyone wore hats and gloves, and it seemed they were all overly polite to each other. “Why am I here?” It seemed right to repeat her earlier question if only to stave off the tide of rising panic.
“You are here to help fulfill a destiny that does not belong to you.”
“Why is this my problem?” Jacinda didn’t answer. It didn’t make sense. “What if I have no clue how to do that?” Not to mention, why would she want to expend the energy on somebody else when she needed the resources to find a way home?
Jacinda shrugged as if the matter didn’t concern her. “You will remain stuck in this time period for as long as the task takes. I have no control over the whims of fate.”
Nausea made Ava’s throat prickle with warm saliva. “What’s the year?” Like passing a car wreck, she wanted to know but didn’t at the same time.
“The year of Our Lord, 1900. You have come during a wonderful anniversary year as I founded Strange Hollow months ago in April. Outcasts like yourself are welcomed here with open arms.”
“Outcasts?” She forgot the sickening sensations in light of this new info. “Why would you assume I’m an outcast?”
One of Jacinda’s eyebrows arched. “You are a latent wolf, are you not?”
How could she possibly know that? “Maybe.” Best not anger the natives.
“There are few rules here. Murder and rape are both punishable by death. Elitists will be eaten on sight. This is natural selection not murder. Feel free to mingle with the townsfolk, but I will caution you to procure clothing more suited to this time period.” She began walking toward the Town Hall. Almost as an afterthought, she paused and turned to hold Ava’s gaze. “I wish you luck, Miss Lesarris. More lives than just your own depend on you figuring out this riddle.”
The panic she’d been holding in check exploded into full-out terror. Cold chills raced over her skin. “What I am supposed to do? Where will I live? All my money is in my car and I don’t even have that right now.”
Jacinda waved away her concerns. “There is a dress shop not far from here. You will find their clothing selection most pleasing. Afterward, feel free to wander the town. If you’re ever feeling sentimental, the train station will be your best bet. This is all I can tell you.”
As Ava stared, alternating between bursting into tears and screaming obscenities at the woman who couldn’t--or wouldn’t--understand her viewpoint, Jacinda Fergus literally vanished into thin air.
Her wolf picked that moment to chime in. I think we’re screwed.
“No crap.” And definitely not in a good way. What exactly did a person do when suddenly whisked back in time without a valid explanation or reason? “What the hell am I supposed to do now?
Of course, her wolf had no smart answer this time.