Thursday, January 12, 2012

Familiar Light by Sarah Ballance - Interview, Blurb, Excerpt (Sensual Romance)

Hi Laurie! Thanks so much for having me here today. I'd like to offer a PDF copy of FAMILIAR LIGHT to a randomly chosen reader who comments with the name of their favorite beach and their email address. But don't rush off to the end, y'all . . . sit a spell! (Okay, when did my grandma get here? LOL!) I hope you'll join me for the interview first, but hey, if you're that excited about my book, who am I to discourage enthusiasm? *grin*

This giveaway will remain open through Jan. 28 11:59PM Central Time.

Tell us about your current release.
FAMILIAR LIGHT is a contemporary romantic thriller about second chances and deadly obsession. The story kicks off when Laney returns to her hometown on the heels of a broken promise, hoping to reunite with her first love. Her reappearance rips open old wounds for Bridger, whose first reaction is to ask her to leave. But what began as a rocky reunion changes direction in a hurry when Laney becomes the target of a nasty attack. With the woman he loves in danger, Bridger can no longer deny his feelings. He vows to keep Laney safe, but neither of them are prepared for how far a killer is willing to go to claim her as his own.

What was your first sale as an author?

It was actually my first manuscript to the first publisher I queried! When I finally decided to give fiction a shot, I wrote DOWN IN FLAMES. It took me six months to write what became a 45k release, and I submitted it to Noble Romance. A few months later, I had a contract. I still can't believe how quickly it happened!

When in the day/night do you write? How long per day?

I have an active blog and a continuous tour schedule of my own, so I have to divide my writing time between my guest authors, my own interviews, and my work-in-progress. That said, I normally work on my blog and interviews until 9:00 or 10:00 each morning, at which point I stop to homeschool the kids. After dinner my husband takes over the kids and the house so I can write, which in theory gives me about four hours each evening. It's not always so compartmentalized, but that's the plan and I'm working hard to stick with it. (Focus is not my strong suit, but with six kids I'm not too hard on myself for it, LOL.)

Where do you research for your books?

I've not yet challenged myself to a research-heavy book—although I did drive my husband crazy over the rifle used in UNFORGIVEN, lol—so most of my "research" is more about atmosphere. That, I have in spades. Many of my books take place near the coast because it's such a special place for my husband and I, and most of my plots are inspired by those type of feelings . . . a mood just takes over and a story fills it. I currently have a plot gnawing at me after time spent writing at the marina where we keep one of our boats. The call of the gulls, the lap of water against the hull, and the creak of the moorings is just too thick with suspense to ignore!

Does your significant other read your stuff?

For the most part, no. He did read the prologue of UNFORGIVEN, which I offered him after he put up with my questions about rifles, and he's willing to read my work, but my problem is I know he's not a fan of romance novels so I'm shy about showing him. Regardless, he could NOT be more supportive—he'll actually take all six of our kids to the park or the grocery store just to get them out of my hair so I can write—and he's my go-to guy for plot talk. He's amazing!

Do you listen to music while writing? If so what?

Yes, but naturally I have to be weird about it. I'll pick one CD and listen to it nonstop for months on end during my writing time. I wrote my first three books to Miranda Lambert's "Kerosene." Then I switched to Jason Aldean's "Wide Open" and, three books later, I'm still on it. It's like the first notes send me into a zone, and getting sucked into my story so easily is awesome considering the number of distractions I live with.

What is your favorite meal?

When my husband and I met, I didn't eat meat. He's a total carnivore, though, and he won me over with his steaks. He works his magic over a charcoal grill—secrets only I know, muahahaha!—and we always pair the steaks with onions and fresh mushrooms sautéed in butter, peas or asparagus, and oven-baked potatoes piled with butter, sour cream, cheese, bacon, and chives. UN-believable!

Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?

YES! First, for those of you who buy, read, review, or even consider my work, thank you so much! As a small token of appreciation for those of you who can stomach me on a regular basis, I'd like to let you know of a weekly giveaway on my blog. All *email* subscribers are automatically entered in a random drawing for a $10 gift card to Noble Romance or $5 for Amazon, winner's choice. You'll be eligible for as long as you remain a subscriber, so please consider taking me up on this little bribe to keep you all close. Muaaaahhahaha! Oh, uh, wait. *Grin.*

Thank you, Laurie, for having me today. I'll leave you all with an excerpt from FAMILIAR LIGHT.

Seven years of longing comes down to just one night.

Laney Kent returns to Barrier Shoals hoping to reunite with her first love, Bridger. She anticipates his reception might be chilly, but what she doesn't expect is to become the victim of a deadly obsession … or that this night with Bridger could be her last.

Bridger Jansen tangled a lot of sheets trying to forget about Laney, but his heart knew what the rest of him refused to admit: he could love no one else. He's determined not to forgive her for leaving him without explanation, but when he fails to protect her from a viscous attack, the person he can't forgive just might be himself.

"Can I help you?" The gruff question trickled through the cavernous space like water leaking through pipes. He seemed to materialize from the shadows as he strode toward her, the rise of heat from the concrete floor keeping him just out of focus.
But her heart knew.
She swallowed a hard knob of regret. "Bridger?"
He couldn't have heard her—not with the way she clung to his name, as if saying it out loud would be to lose another piece of him. But his step faltered, and the recognition in that interrupted cadence brought the burn of tears to her eyes.
No regrets.
She stood, trembling, as the fifty feet between them dwindled to ten. When he was close enough for her to make out the stubble lining his jaw, his legs stopped moving, but his gaze tore over her. The impassioned glare was without direction, a harsh reflection of the hard lines edging his face. The warm brown eyes she remembered were now a bitter shade of espresso.
"What are you doing here?" he asked.
The words, tense with fury, sent her backpedaling against the concrete wall. Too late, she realized she no longer knew this man. They were kids when they'd parted ways, too naïve to realize they'd never keep those breathless promises. At least she'd been that way. His tone suggested otherwise.
They were alone in the deeply shadowed belly of Barrier Shoals Light. And for the first time within those walls, Laney tasted fear.
"Was I supposed to wait for you?" he asked.
Seven years had passed since her weak-kneed promise to return to him. She didn't have an answer for that.
He took another step, boxing her against the curvature of the rock. He stood close—so close, she had to tip her head to meet his eyes.
And she summoned courage to do it.
"Was I?" he asked, his voice softer now. He leaned closer. The stifling heat morphed into sexual innuendo, his skin slick with sweat, daring her to touch.
She was one careless thought away from taking him up on that unspoken suggestion. Her fingers itched to claw through his hair, to draw him closer until the distance between them evaporated. Memories of frantically grasping for purchase against the stone wall besieged her, curling fear into boundless adrenaline. "Did you?"
Her words coaxed a slow grin from his sensual mouth. "Was I supposed to?"

Sarah again: If you're interested in more of FAMILIAR LIGHT, you can read the entire first chapter for free at Noble Romance. Click the buy link to see it (no registration required).

ABOUT Sarah:

Sarah and her husband of many "long, long years" (so he says) live on the mid-Atlantic coast with their six young children, all of whom are perfectly adorable when they're asleep.  She often jokes that she writes to be around people who will listen to her, but her characters aren't much better than her kids.  Fortunately, her husband is quite supportive, having generously offered to help her research "the good parts."  She's never had to ask twice.

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Sarah Ballance said...

Hi, Laurie! Thanks so much for hosting me. I tried to comment yesterday but blogger has me blacklisted or something. (GAH!) Will this be the one to go through? (See, I totally love suspense.) Seriously, I really appreciate your time and hospitality. Have a great day!

Laurie said...

Hi Sarah, Glad you were able to comment. I was off line most of yesterday with computer issues, so it's always something. lol

Lioness said...

I love Juanita Beach Park :D


hhkaufman78 said...

My favorite beach is Shark's Cove in Hawaii. We were stationed there for 3 years & loved snorkeling there!

ncprincess96 at yahoo dot com