Monday, February 20, 2012

Welcome to Sandra Sookoo

Today my guest is Sandra Sookoo, welcome Sandra.

Thank you for having me on your blog today!

I’ve always loved writing historical romance.  It’s something I enjoy, and I love doing the research, immersing myself into that lifestyle, time period, the clothes, what’s going on in world events, etc.

Recently, I’ve become fascinated and have fallen in love with the Civil War time period.  And no, I didn’t set A WOLFISH SCANDAL in the south or near any of the famous battlefields one would expect from a Civil War-era story.  I’m a bit of a wild card when it comes to writing.  I like obscure settings and off-the-beaten path sort of things, so I went for the setting of my home state Indiana.  In fact, I selected a smallish city to the north of where I live:  Noblesville.

Even better, when I started doing the research for this time period, I discovered Indiana had their one and only spotlight of the war in exactly the month I’d chosen to write in.  However, Indiana’s story happened in the southern part of the state, but with a little creative license and maneuvering logistics, I used that event in history as a spring board for the external conflict in my book.

Yes, I’m a research nerd.  Not only did I need to find out facts regarding Indiana and the Civil War, I also needed a medical ailment of the heart that would be popular at that time, something kinda sorta serious but livable.  Medical treatment wasn’t as advanced back then, so there were a variety of things I could choose from for my heroine.

I hope you’ll snag your own copy of A WOLFISH SCANDAL.  You can find it here:


Here’s the blurb:

He has nothing to live for.  She has nothing to lose.  Together, they have everything to gain.

Lyndal Carson's life is at a premium.  Afflicted with a heart ailment wherein she can drop dead at any time, she makes a pact with herself to create one scandal and to really live before she dies.  Tired of being a handmaiden to her family, she writes the letter that will change her destiny.

Grey Rutledge, a werewolf who is hounded by a reporter and haunted by memories, endeavors to provide a diversion large enough that the paper will forget its interest.  He invites twelve women to his estate on the premise of choosing one of them for his mate.  After the loss of his family, the only thing he wants is heirs and a woman by his side. 

As the days go on, both Lyndal and Grey find that elusive piece missing from their lives.  When their respective secrets are revealed, they both run the risk of losing everything.  Danger catches them unaware during an innocent afternoon but it's what is decided as life hangs in the balance that will change their lives forever.

And a short excerpt of the newspaper advertisement that started the scandal: 

With a tiny sigh, Lyndal proceeded on her journey. She clutched the strings of her reticule in one hand. Feeling a tad parched from the hot May sun and dust, she ducked into a café on the corner of Washington Street. After being led to a table near one of the windows and placing her order for a pot of Earl Grey and a plate of tea cakes, she arranged her full skirts over her crinoline and gazed again at the street traffic.

Somehow, she needed to affect a change in her life. If I want to matter to someone, if I want to make a difference—leave a memory behind—I need to stop waiting around for excitement and find it myself.

Perhaps it was interference from Providence; perhaps fate had one more trick up her sleeve, or perhaps it was merely a careless gust of wind when the front door opened, but a page from the Indianapolis Journal on an empty table nearby fluttered and took flight. It came to rest against her skirts. Lyndal bent slightly and plucked the errant paper from the floor then gaped as a headline from a personal advertisement caught her eye.

Wealthy land owner in Noblesville, Indiana hosting a house party—including Independence Day festivities—for the express purpose of finding a mate. Marriage could be an eventuality but the certainty of that outcome is not a definite. Companionship is the more immediate necessity. Experience in sensual bedroom arts is preferred but not required.

Inquires collected through the 30th of the month. Please indicate physical characteristics, flaws and any special talents. Also include a brief history and a short essay of why you would like to be considered.

Responses should be addressed to Mr. Franklin Garrett care of Rutledge Estates, Route 5. If you are chosen as one of the twelve candidates, further instructions will be sent no later than June 15th. As a footnote, ladies' maids or attendants will not be needed and are definitely not desired. Rutledge Estates boasts more than enough staff.

Shock ricocheted through her insides at the audacity of a man blatantly asking self-respecting women to reply to such an inquiry. Just think of the scandal! What kind of gentleman would proposition one woman let alone ask for a dozen to reside in his house without a proper chaperone? She crumpled the paper in her fists. A man who was not a gentleman. A man who cared not for conventions or rules. A man who wished to live life on his own terms. Her skin prickled. He must be quite powerful to thwart the proprieties and make it a public spectacle—or very daring.

"Is there a problem, miss?" A young woman in a black dress and white frilled apron asked as she set out the items for tea.

"Oh, no, but thank you. This looks lovely." Only when the woman moved on to attend to other diners did Lyndal smooth the paper out on her lap once more.

Experience in the bedroom arts? Surely the person who wrote this missive didn't mean to take the women he selected into his bed. Her cheeks heated at the thought. She swallowed around the lump in her throat. Was it a lark, a practical joke played on the newspaper office to take readers' minds off the war, a political stunt, a personal statement? What arrogance was at play to even pen such a request, what bold confidence that anyone would respond. Searching through the society section, her gaze landed on a grainy black-and-white photograph of the man in question.

Too blurry to do him justice, the one feature that seemed to jump off the page was his eyes. Intense, dark and focused, as if he watched her from the paper, they demanded her attention and subsequent submission. Her heart beat a little faster. Dark hair, heavy brows and a strong jaw that spoke of determination and an unwavering will. Yet her focus returned to his eyes. In her imagination, she could easily invent a tale of wounded vulnerability or maybe basic human need. Would his lips be firm or supple against hers? Was he a man of gentle caresses or did he demand women yield fully to him in the bedroom?

A blush heated her whole body and again, her heart raced with excitement or fear. Nonsense, Lyndal. You would never succumb to such temptation for the express reason you will not respond to this advertisement. Yet she couldn't look away from his eyes. As a whole, the picture portrayed a man of power, a man of magnetism. What would he be like? Was he as terrible as she thought based solely on his advertisement? Would she want to be judged on so little?

You can find me around the web at the following places:

Believing is Seeing blog:

Giveaway for this post:  I’ve got swag (postcards, bookmarks, etc) plus a replica of Civil War-era money.  Please remember to leave your contact information.  Random drawing winner will be announced February 21st.

Thanks so much for dropping by!


Sandra Sookoo said...

Thanks for having me on your blog today!

Marie Tuhart said...

Glad to have you here today, Sandra.

nicci_carrera said...

Wow, this is an intriguing premise. I can't wait to read it!!



Carrie Ann Ryan said...

I can't wait to read this Sandra!!

Carrie Ann

Isabel said...

Hi Sandra! Congrats on the release of your book! A couple of days ago I was a telling a friend how much I've been wanting to read a Civil War era romance. Great timing!

Sandra Sookoo said...

Thanks Nicci!

Thanks Carrie! I love writing it!

Hi Isabel! I recently fell in love with the Civil War era :-)

Sandra Sookoo said...

Isabel is my randomly drawn winner. Please send your mailing address to me at sandra (dot) sookoo (at) comcast (dot) net

Thanks so much for coming out!

Isabel said...

Thank you, Sandra! I have fallen off the internet for the last few days. I'll shoot you an email today. Yay!