Romance novelist publishes her second book this year SanTan Sun News

Romance novelist publishes her second book this year

October 22nd, 2020 Editorial Staff
Romance novelist publishes her second book this year
Arts
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SANTAN SUN NEWS STAFF

You might say the pandemic has been both a curse and a blessing for Sandra Givens.
On the one hand, it has pretty much brought an end for now to traveling, which she loves.
On the other hand, being grounded pretty much in her Sun Lakes home got her creative juices running to the point where she has completed her second novel this year.
“It was sort of a forced schedule,” she joked. “You can’t go anywhere and it was so hot. It was easy to stay inside.”
Givens just published “Second Chances,” which comes eight months after she released “Maui Christmas.”
Her new novel looks at a young widow who decides it is time to move on with her life. To rediscover who she is without her husband, she sets out on an adventure alone, never knowing what obstacles await her.
The novel creates some romantic suspense as the reader begins to wonder if secrets from her past destroy her chance at future happiness.
“Maui Christmas” was published in March – two years after she published her debut novel, “Running Horse Ranch.”
Givens, a member of the Romance Writers of America and the recipient of the prestigious International Association of Business Communicators Award of Excellence, is a native Californian who has traveled extensively.
“I’m glad I did my big trips to Africa and some other places when I could because I probably won’t be doing any traveling except maybe at Christmas time this year,” she said. “I mean, you know with this virus, we just don’t know what’s going to happen.”
She turned to writing more – gladly.
“I find that it’s a good way for me to escape the ugliness of what has happened in this country,” she said. “I can put the news aside and go off in a fantasy land.”
She normally likes to write in the morning, but doesn’t have a strict schedule or routine as to when.
“Sometimes I want to have a shower and be fresh about whatever thoughts are rolling around and other times I try to just jump right in, so it varies from day to day.” Givens said.
What doesn’t vary is her love for mingling romance with a hint of mystery,
“I guess I’m a hopeful romantic – always wanting a happy ending. Who doesn’t love being in love? And being loved?” she told the SanTan Sun News earlier this year.
“Maui Christmas,” for example, involved a woman who decides to surprise her daughter for Christmas and gets a surprise or two herself – the first being her daughter’s absence.
Deciding to make the best of the trip while waiting for her daughter, she checks into a resort where soon she is pursued by an attractive but mysterious gentleman.
Then one night she thinks she sees her one true love across a crowded patio. Only he was presumed dead. Throwing caution to the wind, she knows if it was him, she must find him again. And, if she finds him, then what?
That novel and her new one also draw somewhat on her personal life.
“Maui” involved a character based on a lost love of long ago while “Second Chances” echoes part of her experience as a widow.
“I think a lot of widows – and perhaps this is true for widowers as well – spend so much of their lives as a couple that when they are without their spouse they wonder who are they now that they are on their own again.
She said that’s “sort of where this novel started” but then she added “some spicy stuff.”
While a bit autobiographical, her novels mainly are rooted in her flights of fancy.
“This might sound strange, but I have stories in my head,” she said. “Ideas just come to me. I often think if I could just send it straight from my head to paper, it would be so much easier. Inspiration is everywhere.”
And there’s the very act of writing to savor.
“One of the things about writing that is so enjoyable, Givens said, “is the way you can do or be whatever you want.”
Her tastes in novels as a reader tends more toward mysteries, crime and suspense and counts Michael Connelly, Stuart Woods and Daniel Silva among some of her favorites.
“I’ve traveled quite a bit and love to be mentally taken to foreign locations in what I read,” she said, confessing that all those favorites are “very unlike what I write but what I like to read.”
Givens is giving some thought to a sequel to her 2018 novel, “Running Horse Ranch,” because “readers keep asking me for more about the characters.”
“Second Chances” and “Maui Christmas” are both available on Amazon.

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