Writer Wednesday – Meet Andrea Cooper

I am pleased to bring back Writer Wednesday and welcome Andrea Cooper to my blog. Her new release Stolen Hearts released in the past few weeks. Here she is to talk about it.

Stolen Hearts Book 1 – Contemporary Romance Suspense

Tagline: She stole a cop’s heart… will this thief pay for her crime?StolenHeartsThumbnail

Blurb:

Crystal was raised as a thief, bent on revenge. She uses her talents to target the corporation that destroyed her family and her innocence.

When a handsome undercover cop enters her life, Crystal worries she’ll be caught before her mission can be completed – or lose her heart to the one man she can’t trust.

Kade lost his partner in Texas and is looking for a fresh start in the NYPD. Catching the thief whose been targeting the Westridge Corp. will help his transfer become permanent.

Will Kade discover the truth, or will he blame Crystal for stealing his heart?

 

Excerpt: 

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 fiancée 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.

 

Like the sample? You can grab it at Amazon here: Stolen Hearts

About Andrea:

andrearcooper_1361058981_140Andrea R. Cooper writes fantasy, paranormal, historical and romance suspense. She traded in Nancy Drew books for Sherlock Holmes and Agatha Christie novels at the age of nine.

Her real life hero brought love and magic into her life and showed her that true love never gives up. Today, she is happily married with two sons and a daughter.

Andrea believes in the power of change and delighting in each moment. But most fervently, she believes in the magic of love.

The Cheese that Wouldn’t Melt (A Cooking Channel Fail)

Sometimes you get something in your head that you want, and today I wanted a nice home made cheese dip, you know the white cheese kind that you buy in a Mexican Restaurant. I had told my husband we would have quesadillas for lunch, and he made the chicken. I stopped by the store and picked up the white queso package that you melt to get cheese dip. I’ve never paid much attention, but I’ve seen it before, and I purchased it without a lot of thought.

No, I did not. I picked up a different white queso package (queso fresca) that is designed to not melt. It’s used in filling for stuffed peppers. Apparently I needed queso blanca. I got home, realized that I didn’t have as many tortillas as I thought, and ran back to the store, only ten minutes away. My husband said he would keep the cheese moving along in the melting process. I had already chopped it into smaller bits, and it just needed monitoring. Neither of us had ever heard of this horrible invention, cheese that does not melt.

Non-Melting Cheese

Non-Melting Cheese

 

By the time I came back, he had Googled “How to melt queso fresca.” The answer was that you do not. When they say it doesn’t melt, no amount of coaxing will get it to melt. We added different cheeses, milk, butter, taco sauce–ended up with a thin lumpy cheese dip that wasn’t very festive at all.

I won’t even talk about the fact that I caused a glass bowl to crack because I wanted to use it as a double boiler. Bobby Flay did it on Saturday, why couldn’t I?

I like to cook, and I like to experiment and try new things, and I’m not afraid to admit when I get it wrong. If you want to get a big laugh, check out my attempt at peanut butter balls here at Peanut Butter Hands of Death.

I will have to work in this whole non-melting cheese event into a book someday.

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Happy Valentine’s Day – I think

Trashed Roses

Broken Heart, or Dead Flowers?

I am really not sure who today’s holiday is for.

Girls/women over the age of 16 who are otherwise well adjusted get upset if they aren’t part of a couple.

Boys/men over the age of 16 who aren’t dating rejoice that they don’t have to participate in this “commercial holiday.”

Couples who have been married a while don’t want to deal with the hassle of going out on the most crowded night of the year. My husband and I fit that category.

Women in relationships over a certain length of time have hope there will be a proposal today, but invariably they are disappointed because that’s just too overdone.

Guys trying to impress that new girlfriend spend way too much money or rack their brains to do something different or non-cliche.

So, to sum up, best I can tell, the only people that enjoy the holiday are little kids before puberty (because the candy) and women who have been dating less than a year who don’t expect a ring but whose boyfriend still wants to impress. So, for that subset of the population, enjoy your day. (Another exception is couples celebrating their anniversary on Valentine’s Day — they have a different excuse, right?)

For the rest of us, celebrate love in your own way, whether you are single or married or divorced or widowed or whatever. My husband says he is cooking dinner, which works for me as long as he cleans up after. :)

Remember that romantic love isn’t the only kind of love, and the legend is that St. Valentine sent handwritten cards. Not diamonds or rubies or flowers. The big consumer machine got you good on this one.