Our book club had the opportunity and privilege to meet and have a lively discussion of "Desert Heat" with Dannie Marsden...a great story with strong...
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Wow! Such a good story.I enjoyed it so much.I think what got me the most was that I don`t think most people would give a second thought to what kind...
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I know Dannie and was excited to hear she had written a book. When I first started to read Desert Heat, I did so with a critical eye because it was...
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I am waiting for the next book to come out! The story was a page turner and I also enjoyed the portrayal of a variety of lesbians and how we interact...
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Just wanted to share with you that the owners of this site are awesome!
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This interview visit is with Sasha Thibodaux from the Sugarland series. To call her just a vampire would be a grave injustice, she is so much more. In Sugarland, the first book of the series, we learn about Sasha, and how she came to be. In Book II, Bayou Justice, we get to delve deeper into Sasha's life. And my, what an interesting life she has! In Book III, Line of Sight, Sasha has her work cut out for her, trying to protect her family from the evil that can crawl through the streets of New Orleans. This series is a must for all!
Part 1 Sugarland
Diana: Tell us a little of your childhood. You were a child prodigy on the piano. Is this correct?
Sasha: I was born and raised in New Orleans in the late 1800’s. It was a much different place than it is now. My mother was a gifted pianist, and I got my love for music from her.
A small smile played on Sasha's lips, and when I quirked an eyebrow at her, she explained.
Sasha: Everytime I think of my parents, I smile. My father Theo was in the shipping business and I spent as much time with him on the docks as a child as I could.
Diana: You have very beautiful and unusual eyes. Did you get those from your mother too?
Sasha: Thanks for the compliment. People have been attracted to my eyes all my life.
Sasha grinned again, looking lost in a memory.
I was told I look a great deal like my father’s mother, but I never met her as she died when Theo, my father was a young man.
Diana: I’ve read you often visit the site of her crypt.
Sasha: My parents were interred next to my grandmother, who I was also named after. I find that I visit them during times of stress. Being near them, sets my mind at ease and I often feel one or more of them present with me, giving me comfort.
Diana: Did either of your parents know about your supernatural transformation?
Sasha: I think Theo had an inkling. He found it odd that Milly and I seemed so connected, especially when I thought she had died when the ocean liner sunk. Neither of them asked directly, and I don’t think it mattered to them. They seemed thrilled that Milly and I were so deeply in love.
Diana: You had a very special relationship with Theo didn’t you?
Sasha loses her smile and her eyes grow misty as she ponders the question.
Sasha: He was more than a father to me, he was my best friend. He was such a loving and caring person, and that’s part of the reason he died so young.
Diana: It seems like a painful memory for you, but can you share?
Sasha nodded and took a drink of water.
Sasha: It was the worst storm to ever hit New Orleans before Katrina. Dad and I had closed up the business and I rushed home to help mother and Milly finish preparing our homes for the storm. Theo stopped to check on several neighbors along the way, and one home in particular had no male presence since the husband was away in the war. He had finished helping her prepare and was leaving for home a tree branch broke free and struck him in the head, killing him instantly.
Diana: That must have been very difficult for you and your mother.
Sasha: The loss of my father was very traumatic for me and my most significant loss until Milly’s death.
Diana: Oh wait you said the late 1800’s? So how old are you? You look to be in your early 30’s.
Sasha: I’m well over a hundred years old. Sasha chuckles. I was transformed in my early twenties, and as you’ve discovered, we age at a very slow pace.
Diana: You’ve witnessed so much history and pain in your life. Is there one time in your life that is special to you?
A big smile grows on Sasha’s face.
Sasha: That would have to be my life in Europe, London in particular before the World War began, and we had to flee. That’s when I met Milly and we fell in love.
Diana: So how did you meet?
Sasha: When I first arrived in London, I had a few days before my classes were to begin and I had a chance to explore the city. On one trip, I visited the Royal Albert Hall, the premier concert hall in London and Europe, and found the door unlocked. My curiosity led me into the concert hall and when I found a piano on the stage, I couldn’t resist playing in that prime venue. I thought I was alone as I played, but the music attracted Milly, who was the curator of the hall, to listen to me play. When she walked onto the stage, I was afraid I would be going to jail for trespassing, but she welcomed me, and encouraged me to return at any time to play. I felt an immediate attraction to her and to my delight she became my personal guide to London and our friendship began to blossom. She was also an art instructor at King’s College, where I would be attending, and I was excited when she offered to rent me a room in her flat, which was the impetus we needed to take our relationship to the next level.
Diana: Milly is the one that transformed you?
Sasha's face filled with a smile and I could only imagine where her thoughts were.
Sasha: Yes, after I moved in with her I began to notice her secret late night adventures and other unusual behaviors. As the pieces to the puzzle began to fall into place, Milly was honest with me, and patient in explaining her life as an immortal. After much discussion and education, she consented to transform me, so we could be together for eternity. Sasha answered with a voice cracking with emotion.
Diana: But that wasn’t to be, was it?
Sasha: No, I’m afraid not. Our eternity was cut short in the mid- eighties. During this era, prior to the advancement of the blood serum, we still had to hunt for blood to maintain our existence. Unfortunately, we chose unwisely one night during our hunting, and she became affected with a virus, even an immortal could not survive. Sasha wiped a tear from her cheek.
Diana: Please forgive me for this next question, but can’t vampires heal themselves, as part of their abilities?
Sasha smiled weakly.
Sasha: We can heal from most injuries with relative ease. Injuries caused by silver tend to take a bit longer, but an infection of the bloodstream, was something we’d never encountered. Nothing we tried could cure Milly. We watched as the virus slowly drained her vitality, and I was unable to prevent her suffering.
Diana: Changing gears just a bit. Tell me about Sugarland.
Sasha: I bought Sugarland as our forever home. The cane fields sustained us financially and the close proximity to New Orleans allowed us to enjoy the city on occasion, but without drawing attention to our slow aging process. The bayous also provided secluded areas for us to hunt without detection.
Diana: Is it still home for you?
Sasha: It will always be. The house is an antebellum mansion, with a history all its own. I can’t imagine living anywhere else. I have so many beautiful memories at Sugarland, that I couldn’t bear leaving it on a permanent basis. To honor Milly’s final wish, I spread her ashes in special areas of the plantation and I still feel her presence on the grounds.
Diana: You are a very handsome woman, and I can’t believe you will stay single forever. Do you have someone special in your life?
A flush covered Sasha’s cheeks from the obvious compliment.
Sasha: I have hopes that I will be blessed with another special love in the future, but there will never be anyone as special to me as Milly.
Diana: Is it true that your first true love can never be matched?
Sasha: I really can’t speak for others, but for me, Milly was more than a true love. Privileged to spend more years together than most mortal mates do, I cherish every day that we spent together.
Wow, that interview almost brought me to tears. It's still very obvious to me that Sasha is still deeply in love with Milly, but something tells me that she won't be alone for long.
Soon, I will bring Part II, Bayou Justice. Maybe I will get my answer about how long the lovely Sasha will be single.