Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Timeless Desire Blog Tour - Guest Sarah Ballance


Day two of the blog tour and today we have romantic suspense author Sarah Ballance visiting. Let's get to know her a little better...

Welcome! Please introduce yourself and tell us a bit about who you are.

Hi, Jess and readerly-types! It's a pleasure to be here today—especially considering I was able to sneak away from my kids for the day, LOL. I'm a mom of six—13, 11, 8, 5, 4, and 17m—and I write because it gives me a BREAK from my day-to-day! LOL. I started my first novel in summer 2008, not because I ever wanted to be an author, but because someone suggested I write a novel and I said I couldn't do that. Naturally, once I heard myself I realized I HAD to do it. (I excel in being contrary. My husband will vouch for me on that).

Please tell us a bit about your book.

Bridger thought Laney was the one, certain when she left for college she'd come back to him as she promised. Seven years later, he's still waiting (and none too happy to admit it). When she returns with hopes for a second chance, years of anger and hurt lead Bridger to turn his back on her. Then she's attacked, and there's no denying how he feels. But her stalker has the upper hand, and by the time Bridger realizes what he's dealing with, it's too late . . . Laney is gone. And the only thing more shocking than what happens when she disappears is the crime that follows, but divulging that would be giving just a bit too much away. *grin*

What was the motivation/idea behind this book/these characters?

I used the Timeless Desire theme to give my characters a shared past. I absolutely love the coast and was able to use the seasonal tourist traffic to the advantage of my plot for FAMILIAR LIGHT and its sequel, TIDE OF LIES. The lighthouse element paired nicely with the beach, and it's a big player in the outcome of the story. As for the title, I actually found myself singing along to an old song while writing, but I messed up the lyrics. When I realized I'd said "familiar light" I thought, wow. Old lovers and a lighthouse? *love*! LOL.

Did you enjoy writing this book, or did you have some tough times with it?

A little bit of both. This was my second time working with a deadline and both times I think I hit the "eject" button with alarming frequency. And dang it, nothing ever happened when I did, LOL. I think I've had a love-hate relationship with every story I've written, though, so in that sense FAMILIAR LIGHT was very much . . . uh, familiar.

When / Where / How do you write?

I go through phases—I'll write in the morning for several weeks, then I'll stay up late for a few months. Right now I tend to do most of my writing between 8pm and midnight. My husband takes over the house and the kids after dinner so I can hole up in the bedroom undisturbed (or as undisturbed as anyone can be in a house with a half-dozen youngin's, LOL.)

Do you have some other qualification/interest/something else you do besides being a writer?

In addition to herding kids, I homeschool them. This year they're in grades 8th, 6th, 3rd, and K, plus I have two preschoolers to keep alive. Frankly, there's little time for anything else, but any time we can spend boating or hiking is awesome. I also decorate cakes and love to spend one-on-one time with my kids in the kitchen.

What book/s are you reading at the moment?

I just finished Chrisi Barth's CRUISING TOWARD LOVE. Next up is A KNIGHT IN COWBOY BOOTS by Suzie Quint. I have a list some 60 titles long at the moment, and I swear it grows every time I feature another author on my blog! LOL.

Do you have any authors who were your inspiration/hero?

I credit the Harlequin Intrigue line for fostering my love of romantic suspense. I didn't pick one up until after I finished my first novel, and it was only then I realized my blood ran thick with romantic suspense. Talk about love at first sight!

What are you working on right now?

I'm finishing up TIDE OF LIES, which follows FAMILIAR LIGHT. Then I'm back to my new Packing Heat series with the second book, tentatively titled LAST CALL. Those who read UNFORGIVEN (the first book in the series) will recognize Maverick as he takes the lead in book two, but the books do not have to be read in order—each one stands alone.

Do you have any other books out you'd like to mention?

I think I just managed to pitch them all! LOL. Seriously, I have five books out. Readers can check them out on my website or blog, where there's easy access to blurbs, excerpts, reviews, and buy links.

Also (*clears throat*) I'm not above bribery, and here's the pitch. Every week someone who subscribes to my blog *by email* will win a gift certificate—either $10 to Noble Romance or $5 to Amazon, winner's choice. If you want in, head over and look for the subscription box on the upper left hand column. It really is that simple, but if you want full details you'll find them here: http://sarahballance.wordpress.com/weekly-giveaways/

Thanks so much for allowing me to invade for the day! :c)




BLURB
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.

EXCERPT
"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?"
Wait for me, Bridger I'll be back.
The thought came from nowhere, peeling away seven years to their last night together. He'd held her, caressed the hair from her face, and kissed every salty inch of her skin. Stay. A single word. A plea from a man who asked for nothing—and yet owned it all. Every piece of her was his.
She'd just taken too long to realize it. And those eyes . . . . They bore into her, dark with the kind of passion that made anger futile and sex magnificent.
She remembered the latter well.
"Can we talk?" she asked. Lame. But in that moment, all that mattered.
He ran his index finger along her jaw—a slow, teasing exploration he abandoned in short order to toy with a strand of her hair. Dipping his head so his lips grazed her ear, he said, "To think I have anything to say is to assume I still give a damn, Laney. And I think I left that behind a long time ago."
His words were so much at odds with his actions she failed to reconcile the two. Lack of awareness might also be blamed on the hand curling at her nape, the gentle touch drawing her against his chest. Or the heat of his mouth lingering on her flesh, following the coy path his finger trailed across her jaw. Every nuance of touch electrified her, each moment captured in a single thud of her heartbeat.
He stood so close she saw only snapshots of memories, each one triggering another landslide of emotion. His mouth closing over her skin. His fingers laced through hers. That wicked grin he wore as he held her captive with his touch, her wrists pressed overhead against the sand. The dark shadow of his profile blotting out the dance of moonlight on water, their heavy breaths intoxicated with salt air and lust . . . and a promise she failed to keep.
"If I were less of a man," he said, "I'd tell you what you wanted to hear. We'd have a good time, and then I'd walk. Let you spend the next few years wondering what the hell you did to lose me."
"Bridger—"
"But no one deserves that. Not even you." His tight smile brought hard lines to his jaw, but no trace of forgiveness. Holding fast to her gaze, he stepped away, taking twenty degrees of Fahrenheit with him.
Laney shivered. He may have put distance between them, but the narrow darkness in his eyes clutched her throat. She'd mistaken the flat, slated glare for fury, but it wasn't anger . . . it was hurt. She'd hurt him by not coming back. And that was far worse than his wrath.
"You should go."
She opened her mouth and closed it. Every reason she counted for coming back begged her to stay and stand up for what they once had, but there was one thing missing from her fight: a leg upon which to stand.
So, with nothing left to say, she went.

 Thanks for a fun visit, Sarah. Everyone, don't forget to leave a comment to go into the draw for exciting prizes and please click on the tour button at the top right hand side of this page to continue the ride!

17 comments:

Frank said...

Great interview and excerpt, Sarah! Thanks for giving us a peek at Familiar Light! LOL at your growing TBR--mine's inching up some more as we "speak" :)

f dot chen at comcast dot net

Carol L. said...

I too loved the sneak peek at Familiar Light. I look forward to reading your work Sarah.Signed up for your newsletter as well. A great Blog tour.
Carol L
Lucky4750 (at) aol (dot) com

sarahballance said...

Thank you, Frank! My TBR list is painfully long. I think I'd have to move away from home and quit writing to have a prayer of knocking the snow and ice off its higher elevations, LOL.

Carol, Thanks so much for signing up for the blog! Good luck in those weekly giveaways. :c)

Amy S. said...

Excerpt was great! I love reading rekindled love stories.

sarahballance said...

Thank you, Amy! I have a soft spot for them myself. :c) I hope you'll have a chance to check it out!

cheralyn said...

I enjoyed reading your interview and excerpt. I'm definitely adding your books to my TBR list!cheryllynne(at)rocketmail(dot)com

sarahballance said...

Thank you so much Cheralyn! That makes me soooo happy!

Kathryn Merkel said...

Sarah, I feel your pain with that TBR list. My TBR list is approaching 70 & that's just the ones I already have copies of. If you add the ones on my want to buy list, it's well over 100. Then when you factor in the books I win &/or learn about daily from blog hopping & contests, both lists are ballooning at an alarming rate. If only someone would pay me to read so I can quit my day job, I would have a better chance of not being buried by my book addiction.

drainbamaged.gyzmo at gmail.com

sarahballance said...

Kathryn, my list is almost exactly that! (70). Uh, before this blog tour. LOL. I truly need to cut myself off from the world if I ever hope to catch up, and what fun is that? LOL. If you find that someone who will pay you to read, hook me up! :c)

Gabrielle Lee said...

Great questions and answers. Thanks for sharing. Gabrielle. meingee@yahoo.com

booklover0226 said...

I enjoyed both the interview and the excerpt. Both were great reads.

Thanks,
Tracey D
booklover0226 at gmail dot com

lisagk said...

Does anyone's TBR ever actually decrease? If there's a secret, please share. thanks for the excerpt and the interview. lisagk(at)yahoo(dot)com

sarahballance said...

Hi Gabrielle & Tracey, and thank you!

Lisagk, LMAO! That's an excellent point. Definitely a futile effort to even think about making headway on those suckers!

shadow_kohler said...

I with everyone! No matter how many books i read, 20 more books go in my TBR pile. I dont have a chance of catching up! I keep finding books that i want, then i see who the author is, and of course i have to get the rest of there books...my wishlist is miles long! lol Thanks for sharing! Your book sounds great! Another to be added to my wishlist!
shadowluvs2read(at)aol(dot)com

marybelle said...

Sarah, how you find the time to write I will never know. The book looks wonderful.

marypres(AT)gmail(DOT)com

sarahballance said...

YES, Shadow! LOL. And thank you. :c)

Marybelle, I'm constantly looking for more time. I have NO idea where it all goes! LOL.

sarahballance said...

Thanks to everyone for your comments! Email addresses will be entered into the Kindle and overall prize giveaways.

Random.org has selected cheralyn as the winner of the $5 Noble Romance gift card for commenting on this post. Congratulations, cheralyn!