CHARACTER INTERVIEW – ALANDRA PARGAS FROM RENDEZVOUS WITH DANGER, BOOK 2 OF THE REUNITED SERIES





Today we welcome Alandra Pargas from RENDEVOUS WITH DANGER! Can you introduce yourself? Tell us a bit 

about yourself?

My name is Alandra Pargas and I’m a former CIA Counter-Intelligence officer, but a couple of years ago, I went back into nursing. I’ve always had an adventurous life, but it took a turn for the worst three years ago. I was on assignment in Guerrero Mexico and things went horribly wrong. My cover was blown, and I was kidnapped by the most dangerous drug cartel in Guerrero, Mexico. My boyfriend at the time, Quinn Hamilton, was a former Navy SEAL. Instead of waiting for the CIA to get a team together to get me out of Mexico, Quinn and a couple of his friends rescued me.  

Quinn had already hated my job, saying that it was too dangerous and by the time he finished blowing up buildings in Coyuca de Catalan and killing Orlando Medina, a ruthless drug lord, he wanted me to quit my CIA job. Of course I didn’t. Well, anyway, if you’re interested, that whole situation was captured in a short story, Secret Rendezvous, that’s FREE at all ebook online retailers.

Shortly after the situation in Guerrero, when I returned home to the D.C. area, I didn’t know what to expect, but I knew I would have to endure a lengthy debriefing. Unfortunately, things got worse before they got better. I was not only accused of selling secrets to North Korea, but I was also lured to Tzbekystan, a small fictitious country near Germany. That turned out to be the worst time in my life. I was gunned down in front of the man I love more than life – Quinn, and almost bled to death from a gunshot wound. It’s a long story… but long story short, Quinn was seriously injured during that ambush, and thought I had died. And I’m embarrassed to say, but for three years, I let him believe that I was dead. I know it sounds crazy…but I had good reason to do what I did. I don’t want to bore you with all the details, but you can read about our reunion in Sharon C. Cooper’s latest release, Rendezvous with Danger, book 2 of the Reunited Series.

What is my physical condition and my concepts of comfort? Is physical exertion normal for me, or difficult, or somehow socially disparaged?

I’m happy to say that I am in excellent physical
condition. Despite the life-threatening chest wound I received in Tzbekystan, it didn’t leave any life-altering disabilities. It only left a five-inch scar, and at times some severe nightmares.

For the most part, I’ve always been athletic and even studied Taekwondo. I’m now a third degree black belt. My skills have served me well especially over the last few years where I have been literally fighting for my life. And because of my former job as a counter-intelligence officer, I have made it a point to stay in shape by running and working out on a regular basis.


When you think of your childhood kitchen, what smell do you associate with it? Why is that smell so resonant for you?


As you can probably tell, I’m mixed race. My father was Latino, my mother African American. So needless to say, food was a big deal in our house. Both my parents were excellent cooks. We were well fed on tamales, tacos and arepas, as well as collard greens and fried chicken. Lol! I don’t think there is one smell that resonates with me more than another, but if I had to pick one, I would have 
to say the smell of tamales. My father was killed in Kuwait when I was younger and I can’t help but think of him whenever I smell tamales. They remind me of times when my sisters and I would crowd around him whenever he was in the kitchen cooking.

How do you show who you are in the way you maintain your appearance? How far do your social and economic circumstances allow you to control how you appear to others? What clothing or adornment feels comfortable to you? Will you endure discomfort for the sake of meeting social expectations of beauty or power? 


I keep things pretty simple. Since I normally have to travel light, I don’t have a whole lot of stuff, which means I don’t have closets overflowing with clothes and shoes. There was a time when Quinn and I were apart and I was in between jobs that I couldn’t afford to do a lot of shopping, and now that I have an unlimited budget, I’m still not a big shopper. I’m at my most comfortable in jeans and a sweater or a T-shirt. My hair is naturally curly so I don’t spend hours at the hair salon, and according to Quinn, I don’t need make-up. So I’m a get up and go kind of girl. Now don’t get me wrong, when I’m going out with Quinn or attending a government function, I go all out with the nice dress and heels.

What are your most prized possessions? Do you hoard anything? Do you have so much of anything that I care little if I must give it away?


I’m definitely not a hoarder. When I was accused of selling secrets to North Korea, I got out of town – quick, leaving pretty much everything behind except for my numerous passports and identifications. I left town in order to do my own investigation into the situation and to figure out who was trying to frame me. During that time, I was lured to Tzbekystan, where I was almost killed. I had nothing except the clothes on my back. I friend helped me get to California, where I hid out for three years and slowly put my life back together. With all of that said, my most prized possession is a diamond ring that Quinn gave me recently that I will cherish until the day I die.


Excerpt-

Quinn eased around the paint-chipped pillar, and along the musty-smelling hallway, his gun held close to his body and ready to shoot anyone who got in his way. All he needed was to leave the building without being detected.

“You have twelve minutes to get out of there Q,” Malik said through Quinn’s earpiece.

Quinn proceeded through the corridor, his body tight against the uneven wall. He made the first turn and moved down the dimly lit hallway where a single bulb dangled from a sub-standard light fixture. He heard voices coming from a room to his right, so he turned left and maneuvered down the staircase. Ten more yards and he would be home free.

He made it to the final step and halted when he heard footsteps running on the level above him and then down the stairs behind him. He ducked into a nearby utility closet, not closing the door completely.

“We have a problem,” he heard Malik say in his ear.


No kidding, Quinn thought.

“Two snipers on the rooftop of the building adjacent to the one you’re in. Sit tight.”

Missions like this Quinn normally did solo, but he was glad Malik was there. They’d run into a few snags, and his presence had proven beneficial.

“All clear.”

No longer hearing footsteps, Quinn eased back into the hallway, down the back stairs and out of the building into the night. He made sure the information he had just stolen was secure inside his jacket, and he inched toward the gate. A tree branch snapped. Quinn slammed his body against the brick wall, blending into the darkness of the night. He stood still for several seconds and heard it again. Slowly, he turned his head toward the noise. What he saw, several yards away under the dim moonlight, made his heart stop.

Alandra. What in the… He blinked several times, unable to fathom why she was thousands of miles from home, and standing in the middle of what could easily become a war zone.

He retraced his steps. She anxiously looked around the area and then back at the small device she held in her hands. Within five feet of her, he must have made a noise because her head shot up and their eyes connected. And in slow motion everything exploded around her.

“Get down!” he yelled and saw her fall to her knees.

Without thinking he ran to her and chaos erupted in every direction. He scooped her up and nestled her behind a long concrete block and then he noticed she’d been shot.

“Oh, shit.”

“Quinn,” she said, grasping at his shirt, her eyes wild. “Please … be careful.”

“Malik, I need you. Now!” Quinn growled into his mouthpiece giving Malik his location while he jerked out of his jacket and placed it under Alandra’s head.

“On my way,” Malik said.

“Hang on baby. We’re going to get you out of here.” He ripped open her down vest and then her shirt to determine the extent of her injury. Blood spilled from the chest wound. Damn. He glanced around trying to decide the best route to safety as he removed his shirt, leaving him with only a black T-shirt on. Gunshots rang out around him as he pressed his shirt over her wound to slow the bleeding.

“Quinn… I love…you. I have to tel…”

“I love you too, baby, but I need you to hold... Oh, damn. Alandra? Alandra?” he growled when her eyes rolled to the back of her head. He cradled her closer to his body, willing her to stay with him. “Lan…” he started but felt a bullet slap the back of his shoulder - and then his back. Paralyzed by the sharp pain that traveled down his spine, gripping him like steel claws, he struggled to hold on to Alandra, fighting the blackness that threatened to overpower him.

“Alandra, baby, I...need you…to hold on.”


Terrific, heart-pumping excerpt! Get
RENDEZVOUS WITH DANGER today!

Rendezvous with Danger on Amazon (This book is exclusive to Amazon)

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Bio:

Sharon C. Cooper

Best-selling author, Sharon C. Cooper, lives in Atlanta with her husband and enjoys reading, writing, and rainy days. She writes sweet and contemporary romance, as well as romantic suspense.

Sharon is a Pro member of Romance Writers of America (RWA), board member and member of Georgia Romance Writers (GRW), and a member of the Page a Day Writers Group. To read more about Sharon and her novels, visit www.sharoncooper.net




5 comments:

  1. Good morning, Sharon and Alandra! Thank you for coming today and sharing a little bit about RENDEZVOUS WITH DANGER. Sounds action-packed!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. M.J., thanks so much for hosting me (and Alandra)! :)

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  2. Lovely interview. Best wishes!
    -R.T. Wolfe

    ReplyDelete
  3. Thanks for stopping in, RT! And best wishes with your BLACK CREEK BURNING series!

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