Cassandra’s Bio: Cassandra Ulrich was born on the beautiful island of St. Croix, United States Virgin Islands, located east of Puerto Rico. Living in the tropics fueled her imagination and day dreams. For years, she wrote poetry and entered competitions. However, only many years later did she discover joy in writing stories longer than a few pages.
She published her first young adult novel, A Beautiful Girl, in April 2011. The inspirational novel has already touched many hearts ranging from teens to adults.
Her second novel, Love’s Intensity, is a teen paranormal romance and was released on July 11, 2013.
I’m excited to introduce my latest and 2nd novel, Love’s Intensity, a teen paranormal romance novel, released on July 11, 2013. I first plunged into writing novels with the release of my teen inspirational novel, A Beautiful Girl, on April 7, 2011. Billiard Buddies, a New Adult romance novella, will mark my third release coming soon. I enjoy writing characters with real life complexities.
I started out as a poet, entering competitions. I figured I’d write short stories, but I never thought I’d write full length novels. Never letting go of a dream a 5th grade teacher had for me and giving in to the encouragement of friends, I began writing Love’s Intensity, which had progressed in my mind for two months. It was challenging to create a beginning for a story where I met the characters already living out their lives, but after reading the first chapter, my friends asked for more. Having gone through three rewrites, I’m happy to present this story to everyone else. This novel is only the beginning. A series of novels is sure to follow. Because my characters are multifaceted, readers respond to them like they are real people. See below for a blurb, excerpt, and sites where a copy may be purchased.
Love’s Intensity Blurb: Brad loves fast horses, cars, and bikes. Life would be perfect if his stepmother could only mind her own business. Instead, his father hired a longtime friend and her family to work in their home, turning his world into a feudal mess.
He wants to hate the new arrivals and it doesn’t help that Kressa, daughter of the newcomers, is the most gorgeous girl he’d ever laid eyes on. With a scent that draws him to her, Kressa causes him more internal conflict than he ever dreamed possible. He falls for her so deeply, he tells her a secret he’d never even told his best friends – that he’s training to be a ninja warrior.
Kressa adores her country and loves hanging out with her many cousins. News of the move to Massachusetts comes as a shock to her. She refuses to be happy in this new place working as a servant for a rich man and his mean son, who had the nerve to be cute. And why does her skin tingle every time her hand brushes against his?
Despite her efforts, she finds herself desperately longing for a friendship with the one boy who scowls at her. Matters are only made more complicated when his family and hers clash. When he goes on a dangerous mission, she wonders, will he return so she can tell him he’s won her heart or will their families manage to keep them apart?
Now for some fun interview questions with Cassandra!
How would you describe Love’s Intensity’s central characters, Brad and Kressa? Can you tell us three things about each of them that you won’t find in the book? Brad comes across as an arrogant, manipulative, spoiled brat, but he’s got endearing qualities that will pull him through the emotional rut he’s been in since his mother died. Although he is currently at odds with his father, Brad is devoted to family and will do whatever it takes to protect those close to him. Brad is a free spirit, but he misses the guidelines his mother gave him while still alive. Finally, there’s a secret about his ancestry that he doesn’t know about which I plan to reveal later in the planned series. Kressa is affectionate, sassy, and bright, but let’s her emotions get the best of her. She loves her parents, but looks forward to the day when she’ll be free to live the way she’d like. Kressa’s free spirit has been suppressed for so long, she believes Brad is the one pulling her out of her shell. Her troubled relationship with her father is affecting the one she has with Brad although she thinks it’s just that Brad keeps messing up. Lastly, Kressa’s telepathic power’s full potential has yet to be realized.
Now tell us three things about yourself that we won’t find on your website. I have a cockapoo and a short-haired American cat. I have Carib and Arawak Indians in my ancestry. I enjoy filling out tax forms.
What characteristics / interests / personality traits do you share in common with Brad or Kressa? Did you have someone specific in mind when you created the characters that you modeled them after? I have Brad’s love of fast cars. My dream car is a Lamborghini. I wish I had a friend who would let me drive. <giggles> I enjoy going to church like Kressa. And salsa? Yep, dancing makes me happy. Each of my characters are a mixture of those who are close to me. No one person is like anyone I know, but I can pick out characteristics and personality traits that remind me of someone.
How did you choose the location for the setting of Love’s Intensity? I knew I wanted a place about 2 hours outside of Boston, but the area had to have mountains nearby and farmland.
Who are some of your favorite authors? What genres do you like to read? I enjoy reading books by James Patterson, Jane Austen, William Shakespeare, Stephen King, Barb Hendee, and Stephenie Meyer. I like fantasy and sci fi stories. Stories about vampires are among my favorites.
When you are not writing, reading or working, what do you do to refresh and relax? I watch movies or play games with my kids. I also sing with two choirs.
Can you tell us a bit more about your other novels, A Beautiful Girl and Billiard Buddies? A Beautiful Girl is an inspirational story about a teenage girl with an abusive step-father. She’s not allowed to have friends, but finds one in a boy at school named Rick. Afraid to get into trouble, she tries her best to avoid him, but his kind nature draws her in. Her world turns upside down when he discovers she’s been hurt and will stop at nothing to help her. I wrote this story as a way to let folks know they are not alone and that there always exists someone who can help, though not in the usual places. Billiard Buddies is a story about Gina, a female pool shark, who seems impossible to beat by the guys at the local bar. That is until Sean arrives. Not only does he rattle her game, but also her heart. The problem is that he’s in a faithful relationship and Gina refuses to cause someone else a broken heart like the one she’d experienced. Billiards sustains her and she’s not willing to lose to anyone.
Love’s Intensity Excerpt:
Brad held her hands in such a way so he could feel her pulse. He remembered the first time they touched. The sensations flowing through his body via the point of contact scared him at first. Now, these same ripples brought him pleasure. He ached for any accidental brush of her skin throughout the day. The tingling lingered in his cheek while he focused on the rhythm of her heart. He spoke each word slowly, calculating the effect of each phrase as he spoke.
“I loved you the first moment I saw you, except I didn’t want to admit to myself I would fall in love with the servant girl from Mexico. I hated the fact I was attracted to you, but I couldn’t stop feeling drawn to you.
“I love your smell. It’s intoxicating.” He sniffed her hand. “The handkerchief I loaned you? Well, I often sniff it when I go to my room, except now the scent has faded. I thought at first it was the cream, but the one day you didn’t wear it, I found your scent more alluring. The scent that drives me crazy is your own natural smell.”
Brad observed an increase in her pulse. “Are you able to hear more?”
“Yes,” Kressa assured, but her eyes seemed to glaze over.
“Your lips, well, when you kiss me on the cheek, are soft. It’s why I have trouble…why I desire…” Brad found himself staring at Kressa’s parted lips and froze. He shifted his gaze back to her eyes. “I think if I continue talking about your lips, I would find myself breaking all my promises about not kissing you to steal one,” he smiled slyly.
Kressa’s pulse quickened. Her gaze seemed lost, staring into Brad’s eyes.
He thought he better check again. “Do you wish me to go on?”
“Please continue.” Her faint voice cracked.
“Okay.” Brad paused. “At school, I was upset we weren’t in the same classes. I struggled with not seeing you all day. The reason I didn’t drive you to school was because I wasn’t sure if I could control myself when we were alone. I wanted to keep tabs on your every move, but Sara made that impossible. However, when you were in danger, it gave me the excuse I needed to follow you around as much as possible. I hated even more that we didn’t share the same classes and let that come out as if I were annoyed to be watching you. I soon lessened the distance by suggesting we hold hands. It had its usefulness as a safety measure, but inside I thrived on your touch.” Brad did a pulse check.
Kressa’s rate quickened, but she still remained within safe limits.
He continued, “I did not want anything to happen to you. I risked my life for you and found that I was willing to die for you if it came to that.”
Kressa’s heart beat increased rapidly. Its rate equaled that of a person who had been exercising for twenty minutes.
Brad knew the time to stop had arrived before she fainted and he needed to call 911. “I think I’ll stop now,” Brad said to an almost comatose Kressa. “You’ve had enough. You’re altogether beautiful, Kressa.” Brad listened and found missing Kressa’s breath on his face. “Kressa? Breathe. I would hate for my father to return to his office and find you passed out on the floor. Please, breathe.” Brad caressed her hands.
Kressa blinked and took a breath. She seemed dizzy and would have fallen over if he had not steadied her. Slowly, she began to breathe normally.
“That’s it, Kressa. Keep breathing…slowly.”
Kressa’s eyes focused on Brad’s. “Is there more?”
Brad smiled and said, “There’s more, but I don’t think you’re in any condition to handle it right now. You barely made it through what I told you. Are you all right?”
“I…I think so. I had no idea you felt that way about me. Now, I understand why you needed to know how I felt. I’m sorry it took so long.”
“It’s quite all right, Princess. After seeing how you responded today, I believe I would have had to resuscitate you had you heard my words at an earlier time. However, I wouldn’t have mind.”
Kressa inhaled deeply and Brad released her hands since her heart had slowed to an acceptable pace.
“I have something for you,” Brad said, picking up the gift from his father’s desk.
Kressa opened the box Brad handed her and found earrings with a diamond and ruby in each to match the bracelet he got her for Christmas. She also pulled out a framed close-up photo of them at the New Year’s Eve dance.
“I framed the picture for myself too. It was a special night, and I don’t ever want to forget it.
“Thanks, Brad. I…I didn’t get you anything,” Kressa said apologetically.
“It’s okay. I imagine your dad would have a fit if you made something for me. I think I hear my dad coming. It’s time to go. May I give you a hug?”
“Yes, I’d love one.”
They gave each other a quick embrace.
His father re-entered the office, closed the door, and walked over to the camera controls. Brad held his hand up to tell his dad to hold off starting up the cameras. His father waited.
“One more thing,” Brad began, “Promise me there will be no more secrets or lies between us. I understand if we cannot betray a confidence, but other than that I want to know what you’re thinking even if it hurts – be brutally truthful. If you really can’t tell me, at least tell me you can’t tell me what I wish to know.”
“I promise,” Kressa agreed. “What are we going to do during classes, now that we know how the other feels?”
“I’ll manage. I’ve done okay so far. I usually refocus my mind to think of you more like a distant cousin. I’m worried about you though.”
“I’ll do my best not to faint. If you behave yourself, I should be fine.”
Brad gave Kressa a kiss on the cheek and nodded for his father to start recording.
“Thanks, Dad, for everything.”
His father nodded and returned to his desk without saying a word.
When he and Kressa left the office, Brad said, “You’d better sit a while before going downstairs. Your face is flushed. Your dad will have lots of questions.”
“Good idea. I’ll sit in the living room. Oh, Brad?”
“Thanks for helping me pick out beautiful clothes. Mama liked them too,” Kressa said, delighted.
“De nada,” responded Brad.
Kressa walked left toward the living room, and Brad ran up the stairs. Being so close to Kressa aroused him. He ran upstairs for a quick cold shower to distract him.
After the shower, Brad decided to risk walking to his room in only a towel. He figured Kressa should have already gone downstairs. To his surprise, Kressa walked into the foyer at the exact moment he walked out the bathroom. Her mouth dropped open and she covered her eyes. Embarrassed, Brad rushed to his bedroom to get dressed.
Blog Site: http://cassandraulrich.blogspot.com/
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