Sit Down Saturday with Sophia Sasson
Sophia, what inspired this book?I am a Washingtonian, which is the term used to describe those if us who live in the Washington DC metro area. Politics is a part of our daily lives. Whether it’s the sight of the Presidential helicopters while we are sitting in morning traffic, or the collective groan you hear when the radio reminds us that the IMF and World Bank meetings are happening (those meetings translate to tons of protestors and a lot of traffic drama), we can’t escape politics.
So I wanted something that would make politics seem more...heartwarming.
When I watch any election coverage, the media exclusively focus on “the candidate” whether it be the local guy running for Congress or the Presidential nominee. Once in a while the big wig press secretary or chief of staff gets featured but those who work tirelessly behind the scenes and make the magic happen are largely overlooked. I have friends who have worked campaigns and it’s a grueling, often thankless job. For anywhere from a few weeks to a year or more, you give up your entire life and live and breathe the promotion of one individual. And get paid nothing to less than minimum wage.And that’s how my characters were born. Alex Santiago is a first generation immigrant who hates being seen as the parochial “pull yourself by the bootstraps” man rather than the professional that he is. Kat Driscoll is the media shy small town professor struggling to find a way to live her life while caring for her mentally ill mother. Both of their lives are turned when Kat is revealed to be the secret daughter of a senator fighting to keep his seat.
If you could pick actors to play the hero and heroine in a movie, who would they be?Hmmmm. Alex is a suave, sexy intense guy with a soft heart. Kat is both girl next door with a stain on her blouse but a strong independent woman unafraid to stand up for herself. Okay, I’m settling on Gonzalo Garcia Vivanco and Katherine Heigel.
What is your favorite scene in the book?Alex is an intense person and is constantly struggling with controlling himself. Infact, it’s a real issue for him because he grew up around domestic violence and is afraid of becoming the kind of person he loathes. That’s why it’s tough for him to be around Kat. She shatters through his tough exterior and he’s afraid or losing his hard won self control. This is a scene that I love. Alex and Kat are stuck in Iraq and independent Kat decides to make the best use of her time by going out on patrol with Lieutenant Luke Willams.
When they returned to base, Luke invited her to have dinner, the intent clear in his eyes.
“How can you ever open you heart after what you’ve been through?” she asked.
He gave her a wide smile. “Precisely because of where I am, Kat. Every day I’m breathing, my life is a gift and I don’t waste a second. So what do you say?”
She smiled and shook her head. “I’d just break your heart. I’m unavailable.”
“Does it have something to do with that bad-tempered guy who’s walking over here like he’s going to kill me then take you away, caveman style?”
Kat turned to see Alex thundering toward them and couldn’t help laughing. She nodded. “Don’t tell him—it’ll just make his big head grow even bigger.”
Alex had been sitting in the operations center all day, monitoring the field communications to make sure that Kat was safe. What a waste of a day. He had a million emails to go through, reports to read, not to mention meetings he could’ve scheduled with field commanders in Iraq. Instead, he’d spent the day obsessing about whether Kat was going to get blown up. And now she was standing there flirting with GI Joe, laughing it up like they were on a date.
“What did you think you were doing?” he bellowed as soon as he was within hearing range.
“Educating myself,” Kat said in that maddeningly sweet tone she used when she was being condescending.
“Have you not learned anything from yesterday? Do you not understand how dangerous this country is?”
“I was perfectly safe with—”
“And you, Lieutenant, did you consider what a lucrative target this woman could be? She’s a prominent senator’s daughter, she—”
“With all due respect, sir, the threat was extremely low, she was well protected and I had permission from the base commander.”
Alex and Luke were the same height, and he fumed at the obvious amusement in Luke’s eyes.
“Luke, I’ll handle him. I’m sure you have better things to do.” Kat touched the lieutenant’s arm in the same way she sometimes touched his arm, and Alex’s chest exploded.
“Thank you for taking me today. Is it okay if I come find you if I have more questions?” Luke was staring at her like she was a decadent chocolate cake and Alex made his hands into fists to keep from striking the man. Breathe, Alex. His reaction was totally overblown; the soldier had done nothing wrong. Knowing that intellectually didn’t stop the surge of anger in his chest.
“I do hope we get to see each other again,” he said unabashedly. Alex took a step closer, but Luke walked away.
Alex turned to Kat, ready to give her the lecture he’d been practicing all afternoon. Before he could get a word out, she stepped forward and threw her arms around him. He was so stunned that she was pulling back by the time he managed to snake an arm around her waist.
“Do you know how worried I was with you out there?” he whispered into her hair. She felt warm and soft in his arms, and he wanted to feel every inch of her.
“Yes, without me. I’m here to protect you.”
“You can do better than a whole unit of army men?”
“They don’t work for your father—they’re not as well motivated as I am.”
As an aside, both Claire Caldwell (my editor) and I fell in love with Luke and I’m writing his story as we speak.
Any giveaways or promotions that readers can take advantage of?Always! The promotions page of my website usually has something being given away. Right now it’s a free ebook of Then Comes Love and the fabulous Thanksgiving Promotion that thirteen of us are doing to celebrate the thanksgiving anthology coming out in November. I will also be doing a Goodreads promotion starting Oct 14 and amazon promotions over the next month. The best way to get notified of those is to Follow me on Goodreads and Follow me on Amazon. I also try to promote any giveaways on Twitter and my Facebook page.
I also have exclusive giveaways for my VIP list. You can sign up for free.
The book is available on Amazon/Kindle | Barnes & NobleNook | Apple/iTunes | Harlequin | Google Play | Kobo
What’s next for you?
Right now, I’m writing Luke’s story, a military romance that will be published by Harlequin Heartwarming later in 2017. My next release is Mending the Doctor’s Heart coming January 2017.
About Sophia Sasson:
Sophia puts her childhood habit of daydreaming to good use by writing stories she hopes will give you hope, make you laugh, cry, and possibly snort tea from your nose. She was born in Bombay, India, and has lived in the Canary Islands, Spain; Toronto, Canada. Currently she calls the madness of Washington DC home. She’s the author of the Welcome to Bellhaven and State of the Union series. She loves to read, travel to exotic locations in the name of research, bake, explore water sports, watch foreign movies. Hearing from readers makes her day. Contact her through http://SophiaSasson.com
Thank you so much for sitting down with Sophia today! Feel free to ask her any questions about Washington DC, books or comment on what you love/hate about election season.