Hi, everyone! Today I have Sharon Buchbinder on the blog! She’s answering questions and talking about her latest, OBSESSION. Stick around – there’s a giveaway!
Thanks so much for having me here, Michelle!
OBSESSION, a paranormal romantic suspense! Can you give us a blurb for that?
A desperate mother…
A Mexican drug lord…
A dangerous match.
A year after a barbaric childbirth, complete with a near-death experience and an encounter with her guardian angel, Angie Edmonds is just happy she and her son, Jake, are alive. She’s finally in a good place: clean, sober, and employed as a defense attorney. But at the end of a long work day, she finds herself in a parent’s worst nightmare: Jake has been kidnapped and taken across the Mexican border by a cult leader who believes the child is the “Chosen One.”
Stymied by the US and Mexican legal systems, Angie is forced to ask the head of a Mexican crime syndicate for help. Much to her chagrin, she must work with Alejandro Torres, a dangerously attractive criminal and the drug lord’s right-hand man. Little does she know Alejandro is an undercover federal agent, equally terrified of blowing his cover—and falling in love with her.
What made you want to write this story?
I have been fascinated by good versus evil and the supernatural since childhood. As a child, I wondered why so called “good” people could be so mean to me, and so called “bad” people could be so nice to me? I also wondered why there seemed to be so little justice in my world. Where were the angels when I needed them? As I grew older, I realized there are gradations of good and evil in the real world and in well-written fiction. A villain may love his family; a hero may have a fatal flaw. Even religious leaders can go off the rails, as we’ve seen in the past decade with the revelations of church scandals and cults that kill. Now we receive more in-depth coverage of these so-called “good” people and their failings on a daily basis. On the other hand, our news coverage of gang bangers and cartel bosses is one dimensional. I’m not defending the murders and violence, but I had to ask myself, if I grew up in that world, who and what would I be? Like many authors, my story grew out of “What if?” I put myself in the shoes of the people in the story and added a paranormal element to satisfy my need for justice. That symmetry gives readers what I hope is a satisfying ending.
What do you find appealing about writing paranormal romantic suspense?
I have always loved a good mystery, starting with Nancy Drew. The suspense pulled me in at every page, along with the romance with her boyfriend, Ned. In addition, paranormal events have played a role in my life since childhood. I have always accepted this alternate reality that many others do not experience or recognize. Their disbelief doesn’t dismiss my psychic experiences: dreams that come true, that I think of someone–and that person calls, and that I knew my sister was pregnant before she did. In the 1970’s while a psychology major at the University of Connecticut, I participated in telepathy experiments using the now famous J.B. Rhine Zener cards and other images. My “hit rate” as a receiver was statistically greater than chance occurrence. Curiosity and pragmatism took me down the paths of psychology (BA), neuroscience (MA in Psychology), Nursing (AAS) and finally, public health (PhD).
I like to write about the tension between the scientific and paranormal worlds. For many years, outside the realms of science fiction, horror and paranormal romance, it was felt that science, religion and the paranormal couldn’t coexist–much less cross into each other’s territories. However, Jeffrey Kripal, a highly regarded author who holds the J. Newton Rayzor Chair in Philosophy and Religious Thought at Rice University, where he is also the Chair of the Department of Religious Studies, recently published Authors of the Impossible: The Paranormal and the Sacred. This in-depth examination of four major figures, Frederic Myers, Charles Fort, Jacques Vallee and Bertrand Méheust, researches the links between religious experiences and paranormal reports. Kripal’s scholarship provides a solid foundation and gives other serious scholars permission to explore these intriguing relationships outside the realm of fiction.
Why do you think readers will identify with your heroine, Angie Edmonds?
Angie had a horrible childhood. Her father, a cult leader, was abusive, as was her mother. She overcame that childhood with education and became an attorney, only to fall victim to the disease of addiction. When she finds out she’s pregnant with Jake, she gets clean and sober. Angie turns her life around and becomes the model mother—and then her worst nightmare happens: Jake is kidnapped by her crazy father and abducted to his fortress in the Sierra Madre. She has worked hard, done everything right, things are at last good in her life and the bottom falls out. Every parent with a pulse can relate to the rage Angie feels, her desire to rescue her son, and her fury demanding revenge.
What did you like best about your hero, Alejandro?
Let’s start with the hotness and go from there. The cover doesn’t do this man justice. Romance trading cards are winging their way to me, and let me tell you, he is caliente! In addition to his (ahem) physical attributes, he has a heart. A big one. His ATFE handler has no clue Alejandro’s nephew was murdered and his step-brother maimed by the very cartel Alejandro has infiltrated. Like Angie, his fury is also demanding revenge. He can’t resist Angie because her wound reflects his. He calls it “the mother card.” However, if he falls for her, his cover could be blown—and he could be the next headless body in the Chihuahua desert.
What is your favorite genre to read?
Paranormal romantic suspense, of course! LOL! One of my favorite books of all time, my desert island book is The Eight by Katherine Neville. That book has it all: mystery, romance, suspense, conspiracy, a story that starts in the French Revolution and continues in contemporary times, and a supernatural chess board from King Charlemagne that could destroy the world if all the pieces come together. Whoa and hey, she had me at hello. I’ve read that book at least eight times. When I met her at a Mystery Writers of America conference, I had a horrible fan girl panic attack. She is an incredibly gracious lady.
When you’re not writing, do you enjoy any hobbies?
Fishing! My Facebook page is full of fishing pictures and videos. I know, sounds crazy, right? Fishing is hours of relaxation, interspersed with moments of sheer adrenaline. I carry a note pad and pen with me when I fish. Some of my best story ideas have occurred to me while holding a fishing pole in the Florida sun. Lest your readers worry, we fish with a captain who is an ardent conservationist, as are we. We catch and release.
What other exciting stories to you have upcoming for lucky readers?
I’m currently working on Kiss of the Virgin Queen, another paranormal romantic suspense, which is the story of King Solomon and the Queen of Sheba and the impact of their epic romance on their descendant, Homeland Security Special Agent Eliana Solomon, the Jinn Hunter. There are actually two stories in this book. Inspired by the structure of The Eight, I structured the story with chapters alternating between Biblical times (the 10th century BCE) and the present. I’ve been researching this book for three years, across four major religions. It’s my magnum opus, if you will. I’m at 30,000 words, with 60,000 left to go!
Where to buy:
Check out the trailer!
After working in health care delivery for years, Sharon Buchbinder became an association executive, a health care researcher, and an academic in higher education. She had it all–a terrific, supportive husband, an amazing son and a wonderful job. But that itch to write (some call it an obsession) kept beckoning her to “come on back” to writing fiction. When not attempting to make students, colleagues, and babies laugh, she can be found herding cats, waiting on a large gray dog, fishing, dining with good friends, or writing. You can find her at www.sharonbuchbinder.com
Paranormal Romance Guild Winner Best Mystery/Thriller, 2012
Where Sharon Buchbinder can be found on the Internet