Sandoval, Lynda 1965(?)–
SANDOVAL, Lynda 1965(?)–
(Lynda Sue Cooper)
PERSONAL: Born c. 1965; married (a police officer), 1994. Education: Earned B.S., 1994. Hobbies and other interests: Quilting, hiking, gardening, making jewelry.
ADDRESSES: Home—P.O. Box 62080, Littleton, CO 80162-0901; and P.O. Box 1915, Wheat Ridge, CO 80034. E-mail—[email protected]
CAREER: Writer. Wheat Ridge Police Department, Wheat Ridge, CO, police officer, 1991–98; currently works part time as an emergency medical dispatcher, Littleton, CO, police and fire departments.
AWARDS, HONORS: Rising Star, Golden Quill, and Beacon awards, all from regional chapters of Romance Writers of America, all 2002.
Unguarded Hearts, Kensington Publishing (New York, NY), 1999.
Unsettling, HarperCollins Rayo (New York, NY), 2004.
One Perfect Man, Silhouette Books (New York, NY), 2004.
And Then There Were Three, Silhouette Books (New York, NY), 2004.
Borderline Personalities, HarperCollins Rayo (New York, NY), 2004.
"THREE AMIGAS" SERIES; ROMANCE NOVELS
Look of Love, Kensington Publishing (New York, NY), 1999.
Dreaming of You, Encanto (New York, NY), 2000.
One and Only, Kensington Publishing (New York, NY), 2001.
Thief of Hearts, Encanto (New York, NY), 2001.
Dreaming of You was translated into Spanish.
(As Lynda Sue Cooper) True Blue: An Insider's Guide to Street Cops for Writers, Gryphon Books for Writers (Memphis, TN), 1999.
Who's Your Daddy? (young adult), Simon Pulse (New York, NY), 2004.
Author of numerous articles; contributor to Border-Line Personalities: A New Generation of Latinas Dish on Sex, Sass, and Cultural Shifting, edited by Robyn Moreno and Michelle Herrera Mulligan.
WORK IN PROGRESS: Romance novels tentatively titled Chicks Ahoy, Hooked!, Hidden Truths, and The Premonition Mission.
SIDELIGHTS: Lynda Sandoval is a romance writer who worked as a police officer for several years before turning to writing full time in 1998. In an interview with Robin Vidimos for the Denver Post, she related, "I actually think being a police officer parallels being a writer because there are long stretches of not much happening punctuated by exciting events." One of Sandoval's earliest books, in fact, was not a romance novel but a guide for writers called True Blue: An Insider's Guide to Street Cops for Writers.
For the most part, Sandoval focuses on romance novels, which are often set within the Hispanic-American community, such as the four books in her "Three Amigas" series. In the first book in the series, Look of Love, scientist Esme Jaramillo is invited to appear on television's Barry Stillman Show to talk about her work in gene cloning. The shy Esme, however, is shocked to learn that the show's makeup artist, Gavino Mendez, has altered her looks because she is actually on an episode devoted to beauty makeovers for ugly bookworms. Esme tromps off stage and goes into semi-seclusion. Gavino, who developed a rapport with Esme while doing her makeup, feels guilty and goes to Colorado to find Esme and apologize. Esme shows reluctance at first to let Gavino into her life after he finds her, but she eventually rents him an apartment over her garage, leading to a love affair. Writing on AllReaders.com, a reviewer noted that Look of Love "is a classic Cinderella story, but written so beautifully and with such wonderful characters that you don't even care."
Also in the series, One and Only tells the story of Danny and Pilar Valenzuela, childhood sweethearts who married early. Danny is a cop who works long hours to support his family, but Pilar is unhappy with the constant demands of her husband's job. When he comes home from work one day, he finds his bags packed; Pilar wants him to leave. The ensuing story shows how both Danny and Pilar look at their life and their marriage and what needs to be changed to make it work. Writing on EscapetoRomance.com, Deborah Barber observed, "This isn't a book with great depth … but I believe that if you are looking for a book of conflict and compassion, this is a great little read." Thief of Hearts, the fourth book in the "Three Amigas" series, features a ladies man named Isaias Pacias who rescues elementary schoolteacher Graciela Inez Obregon from a car accident. Graciela, who used to be a "party girl," decides to hunt down Isaias a year after the accident to thank him personally for rescuing her. Meanwhile, Pacias thinks that she is dead and the accident has changed his life, leading him to study to be an emergency medical technician. Pacias now learns through a newspaper article that Graciela is searching for her "Samaritan Soulmate." Eventually, the two get together and a romance evolves. "Both characters evolve in ways that are solid and believable," according to Vidimos. In a review on the All about Romance Web site, Heidi L. Haglin praised Sandoval for creating realistic secondary characters, going on to call Thief of Hearts "an excellent book, and a touching love story about refreshingly real characters."
In Unsettling Sandoval once again turns to her experience as a cop to write about Lucy Olivera, a Denver drug officer who is tough on the streets but afraid of personal commitments, largely because her family believes that its women are all cursed with failed first marriages. Marrying a fellow cop named Ruben, Lucy flees from their wedding reception and goes on a road trip with three friends to find a medicine woman who can lift the curse she believes will ruin her marriage. During the trip, each of the four friends face and come to terms with their own inner demons. Writing in the Washington Post, Pamela Regis commented, "In classic road-trip fashion, each confronts her fears in a sometimes panic-stricken, often hilarious trek." BookLoons.com reviewer Rashmi Srinivas felt that the tone of the book "is overwhelmingly Latino, with all the corresponding spiciness. Overall, this is one of those tales that leaves readers feeling satisfied, happy, and richer."
Sandoval turns from romance to the young-adult audience with Who's Your Daddy?, a story about three sixteen-year-old friends who are social outcasts at their school. They are also without boyfriends, largely because of their fathers' occupations, which include being a cop and a famous jazz musician. The three girls get together and search for love by conducting a Celtic ritual called the "Dumb Supper." Eventually, they each meet a boy who is a potential date for their junior prom. Sandoval tells the stories from the perspective of each of the girls through alternating viewpoint chapters. The storyline is also revealed in the form of the instant messages and e-mails the girls send to each other. "Overall this is a charming, warm story, if not especially innovative," according to a Publishers Weekly contributor. Lynn Evarts, writing in School Library Journal, commented that "The lessons get a bit heavy-handed … but teenagers will respond to the unfairness of parental punishments and the unpredictability of love." More enthusiastic, Kliatt contributor Stephanie Squicciarini dubbed Who's Your Daddy? a "laugh-out-loud novel" and said "Sandoval is an author to watch."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Denver Post, August 11, 2002, Robin Vidimos, "Romance Genre a Springboard for Ex-Cop," p. EE02.
Kliatt, September, 2004, Janis Flint-Ferguson, review of Who's Your Daddy?, p. 26; January, 2005, Stephanie Squicciarini, review of Who's Your Daddy?, p. 17.
Publishers Weekly, September 16, 2003, John F. Baker, "Rayo Preempts Latina Cop's Book," p. 14; May 31, 2004, review of Unsettling, p. 52; December 20, 2004, review of Who's Your Daddy?, p. 60.
School Library Journal, January, 2005, Lynn Evarts, review of Who's Your Daddy?, p. 126.
Washington Post, July 11, 2004, Pamela Regis, review of Unsettling, p. T13.
All about Romance Web site, http://www.likesbooks.com/ (March 8, 2005), Heidi L. Haglin, review of Thief of Hearts.
AllReaders.com, http://www.allreaders.com/ (March 8, 2005), reviews of Look of Love and Unsettling.
BookLoons.com, http://www.bookloons.com/ (March, 2005), Rashmi Srinivas, review of Unsettling.
eReader.com, http://www.ereader.com/ (March 8, 2005), "Lynda Sandoval."
EscapetoRomance.com, http://www.escapetoromance.com/ (March 8, 2005), Deborah Barber, review of One and Only.
Romance Reader Web site, http://www.theromancereader.com/ (March 8, 2005), Cathy Sova, interview with Sandoval.