7 Jul 2015

Interview with author Andrea R. Cooper

Stolen Hearts – Book 1
Crystal has spent her entire life training to be a thief in order to find evidence against the man who had her parents murdered. In her pursuit of justice she's had to give up her identity, her name, and any chance at love. When Crystal is forced on a blind date with the cop who is investigating her, she plays a dangerous game of hearts that could land her in a prison cell. 
Kade is in search of a new life, after losing his partner. He's taken a new job, in a new city, and met a new girl. In order to keep his fresh start, he will have to catch an elusive thief targeting one of the largest corporations in the country. Desperate to forget the failures of his past, Kade has no intention of failing.
But secrets can’t be hidden forever. 
Crystal shimmied down the drainpipe with her trophies tucked inside her backpack and computer files loaded onto her USB, hung around her neck disguised as a locket. This was too easy. Not like the Warren job where the COO kept changing the menu and supervised their catering to ensure they had followed the strict rules of kashrut.
She landed on the concrete with a thump, then removed her mask. Usually she worked at night when the catering gig didn’t provide the necessary cover, but she had a date this evening.
A blind date.
Her sister’s fiancĂ©e had called earlier that day to let them know his cousin from Texas would join them for dinner and would Crystal come along? As far as Crystal was concerned, it was the closest thing she’d come to as a real date in a long time. She’d take it.
Thankfully, her catering appointment with Westridge canceled yesterday. While she enjoyed cooking, it was only a cover for her and her sister’s illegal activities. What she excelled at was computers, but having a career in that field, now, would be too suspicious. Her IT skills far exceeded a Level One Help Desk worker. She despised working for Westridge, the man who had her mother killed and her dad thrown into jail, but catering was the easiest way into her target’s homes without suspicion. And she refused to pose as a cleaning lady and scrub their filth.
Years ago, Dad found what he thought was a series of accounting errors. For his honesty trying to help Westridge correct the problem, he was thrown in jail to rot. Westridge and his company framed her dad for embezzlement and sharing confidential information with preferred suppliers to obtain favors. Now she and her sister were halfway toward exonerating him and exposing Westridge and his corporate crimes. To see the look on Joshua Westridge’s face when he was convicted would make all her and her sister’s sacrifices worth it.
Thunder boomed as she weaved through alleys, stinking of rotting food and urine. She barely made it to her car before thunder rumbled.
Crystal checked the time on the dashboard, almost seven. No time to waste. Paul and his cousin, Kade, were picking up her and her sister at seven-thirty. Her car hummed to life as she stashed her backpack behind her seat. The stolen cash, including a recently purchased blood diamond necklace, lay inside. Hopefully the money and necklace would throw off Westridge’s Sales Manager to the fact that computer information had been the real prize. And hopefully, they wouldn’t discover the truth until it was too late. For now, another piece of the puzzle to exonerate their dad and lock Westridge away lay on her chest inside her locket.
She whipped into traffic and hit the wipers as fat drops of rain slapped against the windshield. Great. Ahead, a red light flickered as taxis and cars lined up behind it. She debated taking Ninth, but decided against it. Construction was still ongoing and traffic would be worse than this.
Maybe squeezing in a job before dinner wasn’t such a great idea.

Stolen Hearts Book Trailer:

Do dreams ever inspire your writing? What did you last dream about?

I have fabulous dreams about stories. Then I wake up and realize they aren’t logical. LOL. Twice I dreamed two SciFi/Horror stories (which are not my writing genres). The first, when I told my husband, said it was like a Stephen King book he read. So I dropped it. I should have made notes, because I could’ve had a different spin than King’s book. The second, was a horror story with the phrase, Run to Hide. Maybe I’ll write a short story on that one.

When did you first start writing? And when were you first published?
I wrote poetry when I was fourteen until about twenty-five. Then life happened and I didn’t write anything. I read a historical romance and decided I could try and write a novel. I’ve been writing ever since. However, since I can remember, I’ve always thought up characters and stories.

What is it about 'fantasy' that appeals to you the most? Do you read other genres?

My first love is fantasy. I don’t care if it’s Urban, Epic, Dark. I love the magic and otherworldly aspects of it. I’m totally addicted to the Game of Thrones series.
I do read historical, paranormal, romantic suspense, and some contemporary romance. Thankfully, I’m part of a book club who forces me to read outside of my comfort zone and vastly different genres.

Can you tell us a little about your latest book?
Stolen Hearts Book 1 is a romantic suspense. Crystal has trained to become a thief to prove her father’s innocence. When police detective Kade gets too close to finding out her secret, will she abandon her mission?

What inspired you to write it?
The idea came to me about what if a cop fell in love with a thief. How would the thief, especially if the cop was on the case, keep her secret?

Who designs your covers?
For Stolen Hearts it was SilverTree Publishing. For my other full-length novels, Crimson Romance. My self-published novels and novellas are a combination of LM Creations, Period Images and trying to do them myself.

If your latest book was made into a film, who would you cast?
Kade – Shalim Ortiz
Crystal – Amanda Seyfried

What's your favourite ‘fantasy’ book that made it to the big screen?

Lord of the Rings – all three movies. I was a little disappointed in the last Hobbit movie.

What were the last two books you read?
The Invention of Wings by Sue Monk Kidd and Ecstasy in Darkness by Gena Showalter

Name one female author you think deserves to be better known.
I have two: T.F. Walsh and Tmonique Stephens. Both are excellent storytellers and amazing women.

Where do you write?
On my laptop whenever the kids are sleeping. It’s the only time I can focus and it’s quite.

Tell us a random fact about yourself.
I’m a green belt in Muay Thai and a yellow belt in Karate. In the future, when the kids are a bit older, I’d love to take up both again. If I had a time machine and lots of money, I’d study with the master, Bruce Lee.

Who would play you in the movie about your life?
Jenna Dewan Tatum – she has dark hair and green eyes like me. She also grew up in Texas and she’s got a mix of ancestry also like me.

Tell us an interesting fact about where you live.
Houston has the best salsa and TexMex of anywhere I’ve been. We’re diverse and have great food (not just TexMex)

What are your (writing) plans for the future?
I’m writing book 2 of the Stolen Hearts’ series, Captive Hearts. Simultaneously, I’m writing book 2 of a new paranormal romance series – Claimed. Book 1 is with two different publishers deciding who will take it while I complete the second book, Fallen.
As soon as both of these second books are done, I’ll write the next Viking Fire novel and finish book three of my Legends of Oblivion series, War of Darkness.

Tell us one thing that's on your bucket list.
Can I say ‘live past 100’? LOL To watch my kids grow up and meet J.K. Rowling

Name one of your all time favourite songs.
Radioactive by Imagine Dragons

What do you listen to whilst writing?
Sometimes. I adjust the type of music to what scene I’m writing. Fast, rock music for fight scenes, softer slow music for love scenes.

Who (or what) did you want to be when you were a kid?
Before kindergarten, I wanted to be a teacher. Then had a mean teacher and my passion waned. Nowadays, teachers are overworked, underpaid, and not appreciated. It’s one of the hardest jobs (stay-at-home mom is number one) and yet gets little thanks and praise. I think teachers should get the recognition and pay that sports celebrities have.

Thank you for having me on your wonderful blog!
My pleasure!

Andrea has always created characters and stories. But it wasn't until she was in her late twenties that she started writing novels. 
What happened that ignited the writing flame in her fingers? Divorced, and disillusioned by love songs and stories. They exaggerate. She thought. Love and Romance are not like that in the real world. Then she met her husband and realized, yes love and romance are exactly like the songs and stories say. She is now a happy wife, and a mom to three kids (two boys and a girl). 
Andrea writes contemporary romance suspense, fantasy, paranormal and historical romance. When not writing or reading, one may find Andrea dancing in Zumba or chasing her two youngest kids through the park. 
She believes in the power of change and counting each moment as a blessing. But most importantly, she believes in love. 

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