Desire and Deception

Sharon Buchbinder
Desire and Deception


Red Sage Publishing
Release Date
April 2011

Pampered princess and daughter of a Mexican crime boss, Isabel (Izzy) Ramirez is a newly appointed assistant professor working toward tenure and promotion. Driven by voracious desires, including ambition for advancement in the legitimate world and lust for her boy toy, Izzy's house of cards is threatened when the department chair confronts her about a major transgression. Izzy's take no prisoners approach means she makes sure her boss can never expose her deceptions.

Graduate assistant and guy-on-the-side, Sean Richards wants Izzy to leave her sleazy husband. If she would only get away from that crook, he's convinced that he can bring out the better woman who exists beneath Izzy's tough sex siren exterior. He adores his hot blooded Latina and will do her bidding--up to a point. Despite the mind blowing sex, he can't and won't murder for her.

As Izzy's nosy parker friend and colleague doggedly follows an obscure trail of clues about the department chair's death, Izzy is forced to choose between reverting to the ways of her unredeemable father--or becoming the extraordinary woman she sees in Sean's loving eyes.

Interview by Laura

Thanks for joining us this month, Sharon! We're so excited to learn more about your latest release.

Q: What inspired this story?

In writing DESIRE AND DECEPTION, I wanted to tell a sexy suspenseful tale about smart, powerful women and the men who love them. I wrote about society's expectations of what a woman should be versus what a woman wants to be. And since the standing advice to writers is to "write what you know," I then placed these characters into the setting I knew well, the rigidly hierarchical academic world where tenure and promotion are the duo brass rings. With Isabel and Sarah chattering at me the entire time, DESIRE AND DECEPTION is a story that practically wrote itself.

Q: What kind of research went into the writing of DESIRE AND DECEPTION?

As an RN and with a PhD in Public Health, I have years of experience in healthcare and higher education to draw on. My husband is a physician, so when I had medical questions, I picked his brains. The areas where I obtained additional assistance were in legal implications of child abduction, foster care, the Maryland Department of Social Services (DSS) and DNA analysis. Plus I spent over a year researching the very dark and violent world of the Mexican drug cartels.

Q: Wow, that's certainly very interesting! I knew writers live such fascinating lives. Please share a fun fact that you uncovered in your research.

When I was trying to come up with a way to hide a baby in foster care, I made up a computer glitch for DSS. Upon further research, I found out that DSS had actually had a major system malfunction and children who had been placed in foster care could not be readily found. Talk about serendipity. It was just what I needed to step up the tension in the story--and it was fact-based, too.

Q: You have created an interesting heroine, Isabel, who is the daughter of a Mexican crime boss. What made you decide to give her such a background?

I am fascinated by powerful women. By making her the pampered princess, daughter of a Mexican crime boss, I was able to make her a modern day woman warrior who lives by her own rules. In her non-fiction book, The Warrior Queens, Antonia Fraser analyses the lives of real women who led in times of war. Fraser looks at the historical data, legends and myths surrounding these women through a modern lens. She gives a list of adjectives and categories that men create for these astonishing, strong females, one of which is the lustful "Voracity Syndrome," aka the "Man Eater."

Izzy is the archetypal Man Eater: smart, sexy, sassy, funny and deadly. Female and male readers can live vicariously through Isabel because she embodies all the things women are told NOT to do. Don't be too smart. Don't be too aggressive. Don't put your desires ahead of other people's wants and needs. Don't talk back. Don't enjoy sex. Don't be in charge in the bedroom. Don't be in control of your life. In other words, DON'T BE EMPOWERED. I made Isabel over-the-top on all of these traits and more, because she had to be strong to endure her early life and to lead her troops.

Q: Izzy is already sounding to be a very unique heroine. Please tell us more about her. What is it like growing up the daughter of a Mexican crime boss?

Like Meadow Soprano, Izzy grew up with all the privileges of being the mob boss's daughter. She was given the best of everything: nannies, schools, clothes, cars, horse-riding lessons, whatever her parents thought would make her more cultured. She was also given the worst of everything: horrible role models, a Machiavellian world view, and a very dark childhood secret that no child should ever have to carry with her. Because of this complex background, she becomes a female warrior in her own right. Where others would collapse, she survives and thrives. She is a flawed heroine--with redeeming qualities and compelling reasons for her behaviors.

Q: What can you tell us about Sean Richards? What makes him a swoon worthy hero?

Well, first off, if you saw the cover, you know he's smoking hot. Eyes that devour Izzy with a single sweep, shoulders she can climb on or lean on, slow hands, gentle touch--or rough when she wants it that way. The man radiates sex, even when he's not trying to be sexy. He is one hundred percent devoted to Izzy. And he adores her three wild children and vows to follow her and her brood anywhere on earth. The best part is when he discovers her dark secret, he doesn't run, no matter how hard she tries to push him away.

Q: What makes him exactly what Izzy needs?

He has compassion for Izzy, and despite her armor, he sees through to her vulnerable inner self. Every other man in her life has used her either for sex, money or power. Only Sean has truly loved her, flaws and all.

Q: Aw, I'd like a Sean for myself! What is it about Izzy that draws Sean to her?

If Izzy could bottle her sexual energy, she'd make a billion dollars. Sean sees this smart, funny, vibrant woman packaged in a voluptuous body and he's a goner. He's not a neophyte when it comes to sex play; he loves to have sex with Izzy. But more than that, she evokes his protective side. He discovers the terrified little girl beneath her iron-clad exterior and wants to take care of her the rest of her life--even when she tries to tell him he shouldn't. He is obsessed with Izzy--but truly loves her, too.

Q: What is your favourite scene? Why?

Hard to pick one favourite--it's like asking me to choose among my children. One scene that I think many readers will relate to is this one:

After swinging by the day care center, Isabel headed to the grocery store with the three kids. Ramon pushed a grocery cart, and the girls ran up and down the aisles shrieking. Enamored with all things chocolate, the twins stood in the middle of the candy aisle, yanked bags off the shelves and tossed them into the basket. Serious-faced, Ramon placed boxes of kid tested, mother approved cereal on top of the candy. Sometimes that boy looked like an undertaker. Isabel shook her head, pushed another cart with the adult purchases, and ignored the pointed stares of the other shoppers.

An elderly woman approached her with a dour expression. "Young lady," she shook her finger at Isabel, "don't you know how harmful all that sugar is for children?"

Isabel gave the crone her favorite look reserved for morons and meddlers. "Old lady, don't you know how harmful it is to interfere with a child's self-expression? Who wants to grow up and be an uptight rectal sphincter like you?" She laughed out loud at the woman's face, an excellent impression of a fish gasping for breath. "Dictionaries, aisle ten." Isabel turned on her heel and continued shopping.

The woman sputtered behind her. "Why you cheeky--"

Isabel flipped the bird in the air and kept walking. She arrived at the checkout and turned to Ramon. "Pick out three boxes of cereal and one bag of candy. Ditch the cart in the produce section." Now on their third lap around the store, Sherry and Ruby appeared to be slowing down. "Get your sisters. We're outta here. I have to make another stop."

* End of Excerpt*

I bet every mother who reads this has been there. Your kid(s) are rambunctious, but not really evil, you're minding your own business and some busy body decides to give you a lecture about child-rearing. Can you honestly say you never wanted to respond that way and give the meddler the finger? And I love the scene from the perspective of the character's growth. Izzy has had a nanny for her brood for quite some time. Now she's forced into taking care of them and is becoming more attached to them and more protective of them. She has a maternal side to her that she never expected. She grows and continues to grow. In her own way, Izzy is a good mother.

Q: Who is your favourite character? Why?

My favorite character is Izzy. For many of the reasons I've already noted above. Originally, I thought the story belonged to Sarah, but Izzy changed the most and became my favorite. She's so outrageous and does some of the wildest things (like sex in public places and in her office at work) that many women would like to do or have done and won't confess to. She also says things that a goody-two shoes like Sarah or many others would never say--but are thinking.

Q: What's up for you in the coming months?

This summer I'm editing the prequel to Desire and Deception, a romantic suspense called Some Other Child and I will complete the second book in the Desire trilogy, Desire and Obsession, a story about a recovering addict who must work with a Mexican drug lord to rescue her one-year old son from the hands of a cult leader who believes the child is the Chosen One.

Thanks for the fascinating insights, and we can't wait for the sequel, which sounds intriguing!

Sharon Buchbinder has always been a story-teller. As a child, she got into a lot of trouble for "making things up." Now, she is rewarded for making things up. She's been writing fiction since in middle school and has the rejection slips to prove it. After graduating with a BA in Psychology and no job, she realized her dreams of working in the attic writing great prose would have to take a back seat to the simple pleasures of eating, drinking, and having a roof over her head. After working in health care delivery for years, she became a researcher, then an academic. She had it all-- a terrific, supportive husband, an amazing son, and a wonderful job. But that itch to write (some call it obsession), kept beckoning her to "come on back" to writing fiction. She found friendship, support and the opportunity to develop as an author with the Maryland Romance Writers and the Romance Writers of America (RWA). Since romance has over a dozen sub-genres, she was able to turn her fascination with horror and mystery into paranormal romance and romantic suspense. When not writing she can be found reading, fishing, working out, golfing or enjoying a good meal and laughter with friends and family.

Twitter: @sbuchbinder


Also available on Amazon Kindle.

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Bonded for Life
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Sharon Buchbinder is giving away prizes to 2 winners! Each set of prize contains 1 digital copy of DESIRE AND DECEPTION, a set of Romance Trading Cards, a bumper sticker and 1 coffee mug! (US Residents only)


Simply write a comment or ask a question in the comment box below to be entered into the giveaway!

Contest ends July 31.

Winners will be announced in August.
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August 15, 2020 06:21 AM ( EST )