Thursday, July 25, 2013

Yum Yum Yum!!!

Today I'm celebrating my friend Sandra Sookoo and her newest release! Take it away Sandra!

Thanks for hosting me today, Stephanie, and thanks to the readers who’ve joined up as part of the Hollywood Dreams and Buttercream virtual blog tour. This is stop #4. Be sure to visit all stops to better your chance of winning swag!

First, let me introduce myself. My name is Sandra Sookoo. I write romantic fiction, but over the course of the last year, I’ve primarily focused on contemporary and Regency romance. My latest book is a sweet contemporary.

Let’s move onto the interview portion of this post!

SH: I know you're a foodie, so parts of this had to be a piece of cake to write! How fun was it incorporating the food into this book?

SS: Oh, it’s always fun when I include food in my stories… which I tend to do on a regular basis LOL I always tell people food and writing are my life, so that’s what I’ll talk about. The trouble with that is sometimes it makes me hungry.

SH: Did you do any fun research for this book? I assume cake had to be consumed to get the scenes just right ;)

SS: There’s always research, no matter what type of book I’m writing, but for this one, I had to research cake decorating, what sort of materials were used in that sort of thing, fillings for cakes, etc. Which is funny, because back in childhood, I either wanted to be a cake decorator or a writer. Since decorating cakes is way beyond me (unless you want them to lean or look like a hot mess) I chose writing.

SH: I see this is a sweet romance. You often vary your heat level. Which level is your favorite to write?

SS: That depends on what I’m writing. I’ll admit, there are times when writing hot sex gets to be wearing, but beyond that, I do think that sexual tension is needed no matter what sort of book I’m writing. I like to be able to give my readers enough choices to keep everyone happy.

SH: I know you like to bake, so what's your favorite dessert?

SS: Probably cookies or cheesecake. Would you believe I’m not a real big fan of eating cake? Usually, when I do make cake, I give it away.

SH: And I also know you're always cooking awesome things to eat for dinner (thanks to your Twitter posts!) Do you come up with the meals on your own or follow recipes?

SS: Much of the time I research recipes. I call up a few that look interesting, study the ingredients and the methods, then alter them to suit my tastes or those of my husband. Cooking is great because it allows for greater creativity. Baking is a science where one needs to be exact.

Here’s a quick recipe for chocolate buttercream:

1/2 cup butter
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 cup butter flavor Crisco
1/4 cup milk
1/8 teaspoon salt
4 cups powdered sugar
1/3 cup cocoa powder

In a large mixing bowl, cream butter and shortening with mixer and a paddle attachment until fluffy and light.
Add vanilla, powdered sugar, cocoa, salt and milk.
Beat until smooth. It should be fairly stiff but still spreadable. If too runny, add more sugar. If not smooth enough, add more milk.

Have I caught your interest? Here’s the blurb for Hollywood Dreams and Buttercream:

Sometimes the sweetest things in life don’t have anything to do with dessert.

Gwynn Flannigan wants respect from her father and freedom from her big, loud family. The icing on her cake would be to win a decorating competition hosted by her favorite food magazine writer. Cole Marshall's one outlet from the stress of business life is writing his Cooking in the Buff feature. Who cares if he never has time for fun?

The answer for them both lies in the deep freeze at Sweet Endings, the struggling ice cream shop Gwynn manages and the one property Cole needs to secure a big promotion. He’s stuck in Madrigal, Indiana to unravel a knot of family drama that drives him crazy.

Things heat between Gwynn and Cole on the competition floor when Cole’s alter ego is revealed.  Cake and accusations fly while dreams and goals are left crumbling. In order to balance family, business, and love, Gwynn and Cole will need to work together and become partners—in more ways than one.

You can purchase this book at the following locations:

Desert Breeze Publishing: Click here!

Amazon: Click here!

All Romance ebooks: Click here!

Barnes and Noble: Click here!

Ibookstore: Click here!

Have we connected on social media yet? If not, here’s my info. I’d love to talk to you!

Believing is Seeing blog:

Giveaway information on this post: One lucky random commenter will receive a Hollywood Dreams and Buttercream swag pak. Be sure to leave your contact information.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Making Plans

I'm a planner by nature. I thoroughly enjoy the process, whether it be for a vacation or a party, I really just thrive on organizing and researching, making choices, bringing everything together. Which surprises me that I started out writing as a panser, but in the end I did reform and become a plotter.

Thus far in my career, I have gotten by on making my own deadlines. I never had to finish a book by a certain date. It was all on me to make the plans. And I've been pretty damn good about sticking to them. It's really hard to be motivated to work hard to get something done by a certain day when no one is breathing down your neck. If you fail, there's no one to hold you accountable. But I do hold myself accountable. I mean, no, I don't reprimand myself or anything...that would just be weird. But I do feel pretty crappy when I let myself down.

I made a new plan for the rest of summer vacation and for the month of September. At the start of this week, I had four full weeks until we leave for our big California/Vegas adventure. I'm currently working on the second book in my Classy n' Sassy series. I don't have an official deadline for it, so I made my own. I want it done by September 30th.

In order to do that, I have decided to aim for 5,000 words a week until we leave. That's 20,000 over the course of 4 weeks. Now, my normal weekly goal is 10,000 words. But in the summer when the kids are home and we have activities and things going on, it's just not an attainable goal. I would be setting myself up for disappointment if I tried to reach that. So I made a far more accessible goal, and if I do more, fantastic. After those 4 weeks, we go on our trip, and I've allotted for recuperation when we get back. I plan to get back on the wagon on Tuesday the 3rd of September with a proper 10K a week word count goal. That should give me another 40,000-50,000 by the end of the month and should finish the book.

I also have a writing retreat in September. My local RWA chapter will be spending the weekend at a fabulous B&B. Last time we did this I wrote 11K+ over the course of 3 days.

So there's my plan! Do you make plans? Do you have deadlines put on you by others or just yourself? Are you good at meeting them?

Monday, July 22, 2013

Writer friends are the best!

I don't think I writer can truly succeed without a great support group. Writers support each other like no body else can! Check out my post today on Seeing is Believing!

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Want some inside info??

Today I'm featured over at Sarah Says Read Romance! I'm talking about my book, A Bitch Named Karma, and some inside info on how it was born :) Check it out!!

Click here!

Monday, July 8, 2013

Changing your mind???

The older I get, the wiser I get. There is something to that old saying- With age comes wisdom. It's so totally true. That's not to say I make all the right decisions all the time. But I think I am becoming wiser in my old age.

And in this whole getting wiser thing, it's often happened where I have changed my mind about something. I learn, I grow, I realize things I once thought either don't apply anymore or I realize I was just wrong. Does that make me a hypocrite? I have seen people make declarations about many random things, to only do the opposite later on. Are they hypocrites too...or were they just closed minded before? As we get older do our eyes and minds learn to be more open?

The older I get, another saying makes more and more sense- Never say Never. (And no...that is not a Bieber reference in the least!) You never know where life is going to take you and things you thought you would never ever do, somehow don't seem so far-fetched anymore.