Interview: Sara Baysinger, author of THE VANISHING SPARK OF DUSK

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Why did you choose to write in your particular field or genre?

I only read adult fiction in high school, so when I sat down to write The Vanishing Spark of Dusk, I wanted to write *that* book that I always wanted to read. When I started shopping this story around, the main feedback I got was that it should be geared toward the young adult market. I had no idea what they meant by that, so I started picking up YA books to see, and, MAN, I didn’t know what I was missing! I read YA book after YA book, and realized they were right. I was writing what I wanted to read, and what I wanted to read was YA fantasy/scifi/dystopia, etc. I didn’t even know half those books were out there. So I guess you could say I didn’t pick the field/genre, it sort of picked me. 🙂

Where did your love of books/storytelling/reading/writing/etc. come from?

My parents are booknerds, and so me and my sisters didn’t really stand a chance. 😉 When I discovered Goosebumps books by R.L. Stine, all the books by Bruce Coville, and of course the Harry Potter books, that’s when I first realized that I wanted to tell wild stories as well.

How long have you been writing?

I’ve been *seriously* writing for about ten years. I’d written poetry and journaled long before that, but that’s when I decided I wanted to make a career out of writing.

What was the hardest part of writing this book?  

The hardest part was creating the politics and culture, and being consistent with them throughout the story.

What did you enjoy most about writing this book?

I loved, LOVED creating a new exotic world with fantasy creatures and scifi technology.

Are there underrepresented groups or ideas featured in your book?  If so, discuss them.

I have a few queer characters in The Vanishing Spark of Dusk. I’ve honestly found it hard to find many books out there that represent the queer community without the fact that they’re queer being the main plot. I feel like the more the lgbtqiap (etc) people group are represented in books, the quicker their lifestyles will be accepted and normalized in society.

Who are some of your favorite authors that you feel were influential in your work?  What impact have they had on your writing?

Tahereh Mafi influenced my writing. When I read her Shatter Me series—THAT’S when it clicked about how to show and not tell a character’s feelings/emotions/actions. Sarah J Maas inspired me to include more queer characters in my book without making a big deal about their lifestyles, but rather showing that they’re just like anybody else.

What did you find most useful in learning to write?  What was least useful or most destructive?

Most useful: Reading. I’ve found that the more I read, the better my writing.

Least useful (And I’m going to get into trouble for this): Rules. I mean, rules are great and necessary, but MAN. They held me back as a writer for SO. LONG. Grammar rules, plot rules, character rules, POV rules, I couldn’t nail any of them down, and was hugely discouraged by them. Then I finally decided to write just for ME and not let the rules hold me back, and this book happened. My advice to new writers is always to just to WRITE the darn thing, and worry about rules later.

Are you a full-time or part-time writer?  How does that affect your writing?

Part time, since I’m a full time stay-at-home-mom. 🙂 It affects me in that parenting really limits my time. I remember before kids, when I had a *normal* job, I could come home and spend the entire afternoon writing with no interruptions. It was bliss. Now with kids, my time is really limited and constantly interrupted by my toddlers. The only way I can get any writing done is to set a chunk of time aside after the kids go to bed, and dedicate it to writing.

What are some day jobs that you have held?  If any of them impacted your writing, share an example.

I taught English in China for  a year, and traveling around China during that time has provided excellent world-building material. I also worked in a baby-wipe-making factory. That hasn’t impacted my writing, I just like telling people I worked there because it’s such a weird job. 😀

What do you like to read in your free time?

I love to read what I write, which is YA fantasy/scifi/dystopia—basically anything futuristic and/or with magic. 😉

Just as your books inspire authors, what authors have inspired you to write?

I read a lot of Christian/historical fiction when I was  teen, so my main inspirations were Francine Rivers with her Mark of the Lion series, Angela Hunt with her Dreamers series, and Lynn Austin with her Fire by Night series. These books moved and changed me as a teen, and made me want to write life-changing stories for others.

How important are names to you in your books? Do you choose the names based on liking the way it sounds or the meaning?

The main characters’ names are always important, and especially my main heroines’ names—which often set the theme of my books. I choose my characters names both on the way they sound and their meanings. 🙂

What literary character is most like you?

Can I choose my own?  If so, I choose Lark from The Vanishing Spark of Dusk. I basically fashioned her off of my former self. She’s shy, quiet, and has trouble speaking out or defending herself. A few readers had trouble with her because they want the badass heroine, (And don’t get me wrong—Lark grows into that), but I feel like YA fiction needs more of those quiet and reserved heroines who become strong. We’re not *all* naturally brave, extroverted, take-no-shit-from-anyone type of people, after all.  😉

Where is one place you want to visit that you haven’t been before?

Rome. I would love to visit the ruins that are still standing from the ancient roman empire.

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About The Vanishing Spark of Dusk:

Stand up.

When Lark is stolen from Earth to be a slave on the planet Tavdora, she’s determined to find her way back home to her family, no matter the cost. Placed in the household of a notorious slave trader, Lark quickly learns her best assets are her eyes and ears. And if she’s brave enough, her voice.

Be heard.

Kalen is the Tavdorian son of a slave trader and in line to inherit his father’s business. But his growing feelings for Lark, the new house slave who dares to speak of freedom, compel him to reveal his new plan for the slave ships returning to Earth—escape. Together, they just might spark a change that flares across the universe.

Fight back.

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abouttheauthor (1)

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Sara was born in the heart of the Andes Mountains in Ecuador where she spent her early life exploring uncharted lands and raising chickens. She now makes her home among the endless cornfields of Indiana with her husband and two children…and she still raises chickens. Her dystopian novel BLACK TIGER was self-published in 2016. When not getting lost in a book, Sara can be found gardening, devouring chocolate, and running off the sugar-high from said chocolate. You can visit her online at www.sarabaysinger.com.

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Website: https://sarabaysinger.com

Twitter: https://twitter.com/sarambaysinger

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/sarabaysingerauthor

Street Team/Facebook Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/baysingerbookbrigade/

Instagram: @sarabaysinger

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/sarambaysinger/

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/3149743.Sara_Baysinger

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Review: AN INCONVENIENT BEAUTY by Kristi Ann Hunter

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AN INCONVENIENT BEAUTY
Hawthorne House, Book 4

by
KRISTI ANN HUNTER
  Genre: Regency Romance 
Publisher: Bethany House
Date of Publication: September 5, 2017
Number of Pages: 384
Scroll down for giveaway!
Griffith, Duke of Riverton, likes order, logic, and control, so he naturally applies this rational approach to his search for a bride. While he’s certain Miss Frederica St. Claire is the perfect wife for him, she is strangely elusive, and he can’t seem to stop running into her stunningly beautiful cousin, Miss Isabella Breckenridge.
Isabella should be enjoying her society debut, but with her family in difficult circumstances, she has no choice but to agree to a bargain that puts her at odds with all her romantic hopes—as well as her conscience. And the more she comes to know Griffith, the more she regrets the unpleasant obligation that prevents her from any dream of a future with him.
As all Griffith’s and Isabella’s long-held expectations are shaken to the core, can they set aside their pride and fear long enough to claim a happily-ever-after?
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Praise for An Inconvenient Beauty:
“With the latest superbly written installment in her Hawthorne House series, RITA award-winning Hunter once again proves she has the key to inspirational-romance and traditional-Regency readers’ hearts as she gifts them with another gracefully executed love story that delivers all of the richly nuanced characters, impeccably researched historical plotting, and sweet romance they could ever crave.”—Booklist
“The final book in the Hawthorne House series brings Hunter’s saga to a sigh-worthy conclusion. These family members have become like real people, and although readers will celebrate that the characters have found love, it is bittersweet to say goodbye. The plot moves briskly, yet the romance never feels forced. The period details are, as always, charming, and entrench the reader in the culture and traditions of the era.”—RT Book Reviews
“Hunter’s final installment in the Hawthorne House series will delight those already invested in the series as well as any reader who enjoys stories set in Regency-era England. . . . As the London Season plays out, secrets are revealed, past loves return, and hearts align—despite a fair amount of underhanded conniving–to create a fitting finale to the series and a lovely addition to the Regency genre.”—Publishers Weekly starred review
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review
A Charming, Heartfelt and Delightful Regency-era Romance.

The Duke of Riverton knows it is time for him to take a bride and produce an heir, but he’s not taking the task lightly.  He’s picked the most practical and least exciting potential bride to court.  But her cousin, Isabella is always around, and as much as he doesn’t want the complication, he can’t help but be drawn to her.
Isabella Breckenridge comes to London for her first season as a debutant, but it comes with a hitch.  She’s struck a deal with her uncle to entertain the attention of the society men for his political advantage.  If she does what he asks, her family’s farm will be saved.  If she doesn’t, they risk losing everything.   So when she falls for Riverton, she must choose between love or family.
I’ve been very lucky to find so many wonderful historical romances this year, and this one ranks high up there amongst them.  Hunter’s writing is suberb and her voice is perfect for the era.  It was easy to imagine a ballroom filled with couples sweeping across the floor in dance as groups gathered on the fringes to watch and mingle. I was easily transported to the scenes, and eager to read more.  The romance between Griffith and Isabella is wonderful and swoon-worthy.  Both characters are struggling with their own problems and insecurities, and must rely on faith to bring them together.
It’s a wonderful, heart-warming story, and an ending with ALL THE FEELS.
HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.

 

 

Kristi Ann Hunter graduated from Georgia Tech with a degree in computer science but always knew she wanted to write. Kristi is the author of the Hawthorne House series and a 2016 RITA Award winner and Christy Award finalist. She lives with her husband and three children in Georgia.

Follow Kristi Ann Hunter online: 

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ONE WINNER: FULL PRINT SET OF THE HAWTHORNE HOUSE SERIES
THREE WINNERS: PRINT COPY OF AN INCONVENIENT BEAUTY
September 25-October 4, 2017
(U.S. Only)
CHECK OUT THE OTHER GREAT BLOGS ON THE TOUR:
25-Sep
Author Interview
26-Sep
Excerpt 1
27-Sep
Review
28-Sep
Playlist
29-Sep
Review
30-Sep
Top 10 List
1-Oct
Excerpt 2
2-Oct
Review
3-Oct
Top 5 List
4-Oct
Review
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Guest Post by Author Aubrey Parr

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kindle-coverHello, I’m Aubrey Parr. I’m a debut author of contemporary romance. I am currently writing book 2, Love on Ocean Drive, in my Love on… series. But, please check out my first book, Love on the Malecon.

I thought I’d do something fun with it. I love music. I feel like we have soundtracks for our lives. It only made sense that I have a soundtrack for my book. I put together a list of songs from scenes I thought could use specific songs. Check out my page on Amazon. You can get Love on the Malecon in print or ebook. Then follow the links to the music below while you’re reading it.

www.amazon.com/author/aubreyparrbooks

In Chapter 1, when you meet Nicole and learn her back story listen to Rascal Flatts – My Wish

In Chapter 2, when you meet Derek and learn about his past and how he started his company. Listen to Dexter Freebish – Life of Saturdays.

In Chapter 5, the first time they’re in Nicole’s hotel room together. Listen to Dexter Freebish – Higher.

In Chapter 9, when Nicole comes down into the lobby and Derek is waiting for her by the bar. She’s wearing a beautiful, gold dress that he bought for her.  Listen to Chet Faker – Gold.

In Chapter 12, Derek has made a huge decision in his life. Listen to Dexter Freebish – Beautiful Girl

In Chapter’s 14 and 15, after a big scare for Nicole. She is trying to be strong and brave, but ultimately she’s still vulnerable. Listen to X Ambassadors – Unsteady.

In Chapter 17 Nicole makes a big step in her life. Listen to Dierks Bentley – Somewhere on a Beach

In Chapter 21 and into 22, there is another stressful time. Their relationship grows from everything that happens. I don’t want to give away the plot, but listen to The Frey – Heartless

In Chapter 25, Nicole and Derek decide to go for an impromptu run on the beach. It’s a very freeing moment for Nicole and there is a sense of relief. Listen to Coldplay – When I Ruled the World

Again in Chapter 25, when Nicole and Derek go to the little restaurant with her father’s favorite fajitas. Listen to Heartland – I Loved Her First

In Chapter 27, the final pages of the book – during the last scene. Again, I don’t want to give away the plot, but please listen to Wild Cub – Thunder Clatter.

You’ll notice that a lot of music is from the band, Dexter Freebish. They’re an amazing band out of Austin, Texas. I could probably have used their music for the entire soundtrack. Make sure to check them out as well.  http://www.dexterfreebish.com/

Aboutthebook

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In the heart of downtown Puerto Vallarta, there is a magical oceanfront promenade known as the Malecon. As a tribute to her father’s life, Nicole James travels to his favorite place on Earth. On the cobblestone streets of charming Puerto Vallarta, she meets Derek, an ex-MMA fighter who invested his winnings into land for luxury hotels. Derek is fabulously wealthy, aging like fine wine, and lives on resorts like an endless vacation. Could her father have orchestrated this chance meeting with Mr. Right from beyond the grave? Derek Stone never thought a woman would fit into the world he created, until Nicole came along. She’s beautiful, smart, and sexy. More importantly, she has no idea of his money. Derek has taken care of himself for his entire life. He’s not used to trusting anyone.

Can he tear down his walls and let Nicole inside?

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abouttheauthor

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Aubrey Parr waited until she was forty to publish her first novel. Although she received her Master’s in Accounting, Aubrey always knew that she wanted to write. With a few years of life experience under her belt she decided it was time. She lives with her husband and daughter outside of Chicago, Illinois. When she’s not chasing after her daughter she sneaks off to create steamy stories of wonderful love affairs.

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