Wednesday, July 24, 2013

KEEPING THE DREAM ALIVE WITH AUTHOR, ANDREA R. COOPER





Keeping the Dreams Alive series is BACK!  Today, I’m so excited to introduce you to one of my fellow Crimson Romance authors, Andrea R. Cooper.  Andrea has been very busy the last few months. Her debut novel, The Garnet Dagger was released in March and her second book, Viking Fire is coming out in only 5 DAYS! How exciting is that!!

Andrea created a very intriguing story with The Garnet Dagger. Here is what the reviewers are saying:

The Garnet Dagger takes you on a romantic flight into fantasy. Page after page there are new adventures and you can't wait to see what happens next, especially with the surprise ending.

The author builds her story with vivid descriptions that transport the reader into a magical world of danger and intrigue.

The Garnet Dagger takes you on a romantic flight into fantasy. Page after page there are new adventures and you can’t wait to see what happens next, especially with the surprise ending.

Before I talk everyone’s ear off about how fabulous Andrea’s stories are, let me give you a chance to get to know the author first. Andrea, I’m so thrilled to have this chance to get to know you better. You may not know this, but I grew up just south of you in The Rio Grande Valley. We are not only related by Crimson Romance, but we are both TEXANS! Beans never belong in chili and canned cheese soup is definitely NOT queso.


Thank you for being here today and sharing your dream with us. Would you please tell us a little about  yourself?

Andrea...

I’m a wife and mother to three kids, two boys and a girl. I was born, raised, and still living near Houston, Texas. It’s not the weather, which is HOT 362 days a year, that keeps me here, but family and the food, especially Tex-Mex (which is the right kind of hot ) J For all of those who live in the north, a can of cheese soup is not queso or Tex-Mex – you will have to try it if you are ever down this way.

When I was growing up, I wasn’t much of a reader. The books that I craved were not allowed in my home—anything with magic, mythical creatures, paranormal, etc. Seriously, I wasn’t even allowed to watch Disney movies. During my junior year, I found and enjoyed historical romances by Beatrice Small, Julie Garwood, Sandra Hill, and others. But it wasn’t until my early twenties that I found fantasy stories. Since I wasn’t under the rules of my parents, I devoured these stories. Then added paranormal and even YA to my list.

I love writing…let me correct that, I love writing fiction. Make me write nonfiction, I’ll do anything else…even stuff I hate like cleaning house and laundry. .

I love Zumba. Before I had my daughter, Zumba and weight training helped me to lose 40lbs. Now, I’m trying to work off the baby fat from eight months ago I’ve accumulated, which getting to the gym with an almost four year old and an eight month old is about as easy as solving a puzzle with one hand, missing pieces, and in the dark….lol

People of all ages have forgotten how to dream. What inspired you to dream?

I’ll talk about two dreams.
First is writing. Even though I wrote poetry when I was fourteen until my senior year, I didn’t think about becoming a writer. I had this burning desire to share characters and their stories that ran nonstop through my head. I started writing historical romances in my late twenties after being frustrated with other romance genres  I believed had little plot or characterization. It wasn’t until I had finished my second book that I thought maybe it was possible.

I have always been a story teller. I remember being seven years old and my friends would come to me asking what we were going to play. Once I had some of the ‘bad guys’ be space vampires. I didn’t want the kids biting each other, so I told them their fangs were their first two fingers. So, while I haven’t always been a writer, I’ve been a storyteller for as far as I can remember.

My second dream is my daughter. When I was little, I said I wanted two boys and a girl. I had my son, and by twenty-seven, I was divorced. Four years later, I remarried. Still, I didn’t push the idea of kids on him because I already had my son and I was content. Then in my (cough) late thirties he wanted to try for a baby. I was nervous. I was much older than when I had my son.

After my second son was born, he was so sweet and cute that I wanted one more before my biological clock broke. After six months, no luck. I had gotten pregnant the first two times in less than two months…had I missed my chance?

I believe in the power of positive thinking, talking, and vision boards, etc.—so I set up a vision board with pictures of pregnant women, babies, and little girls. And I prayed. I followed the ‘schedule’ and foods to have a girl. Six more months passed and nothing. Finally I gave up but left the vision board up. Then a month later we were pregnant! When the ultrasound technician told us it was a girl, I asked them to double-check. I now have a wonderful healthy laughing eight month old little girl.

We all place obstacles in our path which brings our dreams to a dead stop. I call these obstacles dream killers. What was your dream killer and how did you overcome it?

I’ve touched on this above, but I’ll add more because sometimes dream killers don’t come only once or even twice.
For my daughter, because I was in my early forties, I tried to dwell on positive thoughts and not worry if she would have Downs or something else because of my age. Waiting for those tests to come in was one of the hardest times in my life, but I would have been happy whatever the results.

On writing, it was my ex taking one of my poems into work and saying he and everyone laughed at it. A friend of mine laughed at a few chapters of a story I had written. Both of these events didn’t make me give up writing, but they did help me not to be aggressive in pursuing publishers or showing anyone else my work. I’m one of those writers who wrote for years and have a pile of eight finished novels and four others in various stages.

How do you keep the dream alive under extreme adversity – external or internal?

Writing is how I get the stories and characters out. No longer do I have the luxury of a cast full of neighborhood kids willing to act out my plots and characters. And since I can’t do a one-man show…writing is the only outlet I have. And as a stay-at-home mom for the last three years, it’s an escape that has helped me keep my sanity J
Also, taking classes has helped. I’m still not where I want to be as a writer. I know my strengths and my weaknesses, but I keep striving to be better and learn.

In your opinion, have you reached your dream. How did it feel and how has it changed you?

Yes, I have reached my dream of having a daughter. It feels wonderful, even when she refuses to sleep through the night. It has changed me in that I’m more protective of her in public than I was with my two sons. I want to put a force field around her and keep her safe and happy always.

With my writing, I’m still reaching. I would love to be able to share more of my stories with others.

What's next? What new dream would you like to reach for?

The really big dream would be to earn enough money to support my family and allow my husband to be home and watch our children grow. For now though, I’d settle for continuing to be able to publish my stories and have more people enjoy them. New dream? Maybe to get back in shape like I was before I got pregnant  Oh, and have more time to write, and read, and to write some more.




Blurb for The Garnet Dagger-ON SALE on Amazon today for $1.99

Forbidden to cross the Elvin barrier into human lands, Brock cannot sate his curiosity. Cursed by a vampyre bite that forces him to feed on the life-essence of others, he is unable to touch another without taking their life. Chained by prophesy, he must find a witch, pierce her heart, and draw her blood for his cure.

Celeste must escape the monks who have held her prisoner for years. Her magic has been kept dormant by her captors. An ancient powerful Warloc craves her powers. If he succeeds in devouring her magic, she and the world will die.


When Brock falls in love with Celeste before realizing her demise is his cure, will love triumph over his desire to be healed? Will he risk everything to save her from a Warloc, an oath breaker, who also wants her dead?



Blurb from Viking Fire:

856 CE, Ireland is a land of myth, magic, and blood. Viking raiders have fought the Irish for over half a century. Rival Irish clans promise only betrayal and carnage.
Kaireen, daughter of Laird Liannon, is suddenly forced into an arranged marriage with her sworn enemy, a Viking. She refuses to submit. With no mention of love, only land and the protection of her clan, she endeavors to get her betrothed banished from her country. Will love find its way around her stubborn heart?

Bram, the Viking, finds himself without future or inheritance as a younger son in his family. A marriage to the Laird’s daughter would grant him land if he swears fidelity and if his men will fight along with the Liannons against any foe—Irish or Viking. However, the Laird’s feisty daughter only holds animosity for him and his kind. Is marriage worth the battle scars of such a relentless opponent?


With the blame for a rival laird’s death treacherously set against the Liannons, Kaireen and Bram must find a way to lay aside their differences as an unforeseen darkness sends death snapping at their heels.

Excerpt Viking Fire : Chapter One

Ireland 856 CE

“I renounce Father for this.” Kaireen threw the elderberry gown. Dressed only in her
leine, she glared at the new gown on the stone floor.

“Shame on you and your children for speaking such.” Her handmaid, Elva, gathered the damask and then dusted off the rushes. “It’s a wonder one of the clim has not scolded you from your hearth for such talk.” She wore her white hair twisted in a chignon, underneath a linen head cloth. Strands of white hair poked out the sides of her covering.

“No, curse Father for a fool.” She plopped on her bed and a goose feather floated away. With a huff, she leaned against the oak headboard. Red curtains puffed like a robin’s chest around oak poles supporting her wooden canopy.

Her bare feet brushed against the stone floor. Why was she not born plain like her two older sisters? Already they had married and expected their second bairns by spring. Well, at least so far she had enjoyed twenty years of freedom. Neither of her sisters had had matrimonial dreams of love matches. Both were arranged marriages.

“You know your da arranged a marriage within a season.” Elva smirked.

Kaireen shook her head. “To another land holder,” and waved a hand in disgust, “not t-this heathen. Twice they raided our land in the last month alone. Many a raid has come from them. Now father wants me as wife to one of them?” She clenched her fists. “No, I will not marry this Viking.”

Elva smiled, reminding Kaireen of the rumors of her handmaid’s uncanny foresight.
Whispers of Elva making strange things happen and often blamed as the cause of
Kaireen’s stubborn refusal to behave as a laird’s daughter should.

“You’ve not seen him yet.” Elva wiggled her brows.

“So?” Kaireen shrugged. “I would like to never see him.”

“Well then, would you not like to know if you have a handsome husband or not?” She waited for her response, but Kaireen scowled at her. Elva chuckled. “I would rather get a good look at him now than the morning after.”

Kaireen’s ears heated. “I am not marrying.” She shook her head for emphasis. “So there will be no morning, nor night, nor wedding.”

“If he is handsome, I may fight you for him.” Elva smiled, deepening the wrinkles around her eyes.

“Welcome to him either way.” Kaireen laughed.

#

To preorder VIKING FIRE from Amazon, here is the link:

 http://www.amazon.com/Viking-Fire-ebook/dp/B00DV0XJ9U/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1373923714&sr=8-1&keywords=viking+fire


How to find Andrea R. Cooper: Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AndreaRCooper.author
Twitter: @AndreaRCooper

Buy Links
Crimson Romance ebooks | Amazon | B&N | iTunes
Viking Fire Book Trailer: http://youtu.be/bpk2ZMGwJik
Fire Book Trailer: http://youtu.be/bpk2ZMGwJik


Andrea, thank you for coming by and sharing your dreams with us. We would love to hear from you.  To leave a comment, click on the tiny word comment at the end of the post. Sorry it’s so hard to see.

((HUGS to ALL))
Nancy C. Weeks

22 comments :

Andrea Cooper said...

Nancy,
Thank you so much for having me on your beautiful blog. I really enjoyed your questions.

M.J. Schiller, Romance Author said...

Andrea- I was very touched by your story. You shared some pretty intimate things with us and I thank you for that. I had fertility problems, too, and now have an eighteen year old and sixteen-year-old triplets! Try to get writing done with those hormones floating around! I was also moved by what you said about your ex ridiculing your work. What a jerk! I have been blessed by being supported by my husband and family and it hurts me to hear other writers talk about people belittling what is so much a piece of your heart. I also, unfortunately, identified with your talk about losing weight. My husband and I are doing the COMBAT workout, but it is always a struggle. Thanks for sharing yourself and I wish you all the best of luck with your work!

Ella Quinn - Romance Novelist said...

Wonderful interview, Andrea. It was great learning more about you!! I love your covers!! Tweeted.

M.J. Schiller, Romance Author said...

Thanks, Nancy,for having Andrea on and continuing your dream series. I love it!

Nancy Weeks said...

Andrea,
The pleasure was all mine. You have an incredible imagination.I'm doing a huge happy dance for your new release, Viking Fire. Have a wonderful release day.

Nancy Weeks said...

Hi, M.J
I love the dream series because I find it so inspiring. I agree with you about how cruel it was for Andrea's ex to laugh at her writing. I am so blessed with family that supports everything I do. When I read that paragraph, I just want to place a well deserved kick ... well you know where. It takes a very strong person to rise above something like that and I take my hat off to Andrea for not allowing anyone to get in the way of her dreams.

Nancy Weeks said...

Hi Ella,
It is so nice to see you here. I agree that Andrea's covers are just beautiful. Thanks so much for stopping by for a visit. Hugs!

Andrea Cooper said...

Thank you. Good luck with the 18yr old and 16yr old triplets. You must have tons of energy! I like the COMBAT workout too, but there isn't one around here that fits my budget or does babysitting ;)

Andrea Cooper said...

Thank you. Crimson Romance did a wonderful job on them. Glad you could stop by and thanks for sharing.

D'Ann said...

Super interview! Always fun to learn more about my fellow authors!

Andrea Cooper said...

Thank you Nancy. I know where he lives if you want to stop by :) just kidding.

Andrea Cooper said...

Thank you D'Ann. I'm glad you could stop by.

carolrittensmith said...

Such an heartwarming and intimate interview. Thank you for sharing. So glad you didn't give up on your dream, Andrea. Keep following your passion!

Kary said...

Congratulations on reaching your dreams, my fellow Texan and mother-of-three! I loved Viking Fire and really need to read Garnet Dagger.

Deborah O'Neill Cordes said...

Lovely interview, ladies. I can't wait to read Viking Fire! I've got Viking roots that wend their way back to the Middle Ages, so the novel has been calling to me. May you have much success, Andrea, and many, many sales!

Brenda said...

What an amazing interview. Thank you for sharing with us.
Congratulations, Andrea.

And your excerpt was fantastic--your book sounds fantastic.

Brenna Chase said...

Lovely, thoughtful interview!

Andrea Cooper said...

Thank you!

Andrea Cooper said...

Thank you. I'm glad you enjoyed Viking Fire. I hope you like The Garnet Dagger - it's edgier and darker than Viking Fire.

Andrea Cooper said...

I may having Viking roots too ;) McLaughlin (my great-grandfather's name is thought to be from Lochlann which is Gaelic for Viking). Let me know if you want to do a review swap for Viking Fire.

Thanks.

Andrea Cooper said...

I'm glad you enjoyed the excerpt. Thank you for stopping by.

Andrea Cooper said...

Thank you.