About the book

Like fire and ice, Alexandra Callet's life runs hot and cold. At the age of thirty-three, Alexandra owns a stunning home and a successful interior design company. But she is in love with her business partner, Jake Taylor, and he doesn't even seem to realize she's a woman. She should be on top of the world, but instead she feels dragged down by the void in her heart. Hoping for answers, she decides a trip to Mexico might soothe her soul.

Jake Taylor only pretends to be a confirmed bachelor. Jake has been entranced by Alexandra's determination and exotic beauty since the moment they met, but she has no idea how he feels. He considers confessing his love, but fears jeopardizing their friendship and business. He's caught in a web of pretending he doesn't care, and doesn't see a way out of it. Alexandra is recruited for a dangerous mission. Following her trip to Mexico, her resemblance to a member of an assassin's family leads Alexandra to be recruited by the DEA. Her training leaves her distracted, and her business begins to suffer. Jake notices her sudden change, and feels her slipping both personally and professionally beyond his reach.

Should he finally take the chance...before it's too late? After all, he has nothing to lose. However, when Alexandra returns to Mexico for her mission, things go terribly wrong. Will she be able to find the strength to fight and escape the peaceful haven that has now become her prison?

Or will Jake lose Alexandra forever...

7 questions for S.K. Derban

What genre do you write and why?

Writing mystery romance is my way creating a “Dinner plus Dessert book!” When I do read romance, I miss the mystery. When I read romantic suspense, the outcome seems inevitable. My goal is to provide readers with a satisfying meal of solving a mystery, along with the dessert of a romantic conclusion.

Where do you get inspiration for your stories?

Most of my ideas come either while hiking or biking. I seem to lose myself along the trails while enjoying nature. When playing tennis or golf, I have to concentrate. While either hiking or biking my mind gets to wander.

Which was the hardest character to write in Uneven Exchange? The easiest?

Alexandra proved to be my hardest character to write because I kept making her too perfect. She had to have some flaws. Isaiah was the easiest to write, but not because his part was small. Growing up in a beach town gave me lots of examples to use for my surfer guy, Isaiah.

Your book is set in San Diego and Mexico. Have you ever been there?

We moved to San Diego after leaving England. I have lived here ever since. Mexico is one of my favorite vacation destinations. I have been blessed to visit Guadalajara, Cancun and Cozumel, all of the locations for Uneven Exchange.

I love watching the effects of  the light on the sea or the ever changing shades of blue it can offer. In Uneven Exchange you write that Alexandra looked out upon the ocean and observed how the various shades of blue extended as far as the eye could see. Why is that? Is that based on your own sensorial experience?

The water in Cozumel is breathtaking. I remember standing on the balcony of our hotel, and just staring in disbelief. It is amazing how an aquamarine color dominates the water, with beautiful cloud-shaped patches of deep sapphire scattered about. I wanted to share the experience with my readers.

In today’s tech savvy world, most writers use a computer or laptop. Have you ever written parts of your book on paper?

Yes, yes, and yes! Before I begin writing a new book, I use a legal pad to create a mind-map of my entire story.

What’s the most courageous thing you’ve ever done?

My husband and I smuggled Bibles into China on five separate occasions. Although it was undeniably difficult for the Chinese people who requested our help, we personally were placed in some precarious situations.

About S.K. Derban

Born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, S.K. Derban moved to London within the first three months, and remained in England until the age of five. Her father, an American citizen, was a decorated veteran of the second world war. Derban's mother, born and raised in the United Kingdom, was involved with the London Royal Ballet Company, and a great fan of the arts. Even after returning to the United States, Derban's life was filled with a love of the theatre and a passion for British murder mysteries. S.K. Derban has always remained passionate about writing, and is thrilled to finally share her work with others.

Her personal travel and missionary adventures also help to transport readers virtually across the globe. When writing, S.K. Derban relies on all aspects of her life, from her faith in the Lord, to her love and knowledge of the arts. ​

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S.K. Derban said...

Thanks for the interview! It was fun!

Maria Grazia said...

My pleasure!