I will be interviewing my second guest for today, Sarah Ballance, author of Tide of Lies. Here is a quick blurb of her new book:
A devastating secret. A shocking betrayal. A deadly obsession.
Haunted by three unsolved murders, Detective Holden Whitlow is stunned when his cold case takes a heated turn. Julia Cohen, his ex-lover, is back in town, and in the face of a brutal attack she’s ready to run. No matter how tightly she holds her secrets, for Holden, turning away from the woman he’s spent a decade trying to forget isn’t any more an option than walking away from his job . . . even when it threatens to cost Julia her life.
Julia is still reeling from a past she can’t bear to face. When she becomes the target of a killer, fate throws her back into Holden’s arms, but she’s yet to recover from a truth that has stripped her of everything—and everyone—she loves. Will she tell him the secret that will destroy him, or will her lie destroy them both?
Thank you for coming, Sarah. How did you come up with the idea for Tide of Lies?
I participated in the Noble Romance Authors Blog Tour last fall, for which I needed to come up with a story, 10k words, incorporating the Timeless Desire theme. I'm a huge fan of romantic suspense and wanted to write that genre, but I couldn't fit my story in 10k words. So I came up with the idea of finishing that story in a longer book, which is what became TIDE OF LIES. Although it's a spinoff of the original story, FAMILIAR LIGHT, this one stands alone with two new main characters and a plot written just for them.
Please tell us in one sentence only, why we should read your book.
A devastating secret, shocking betrayals, and a long-buried resentment culminate in a thrilling life-and-death showdown in TIDE OF LIES … need I say more?
Who is your favorite character from Tide of Lies, and why?
Holden, the book's hero. I normally have the most affection for the leading man, probably because they always get their best qualities from my husband. In Holden's case, he's a genuine guy who admits his mistakes and fights hard for the woman he loves. He gets knocked down in this story—hard—but he risks it all for . . . well, that's a spoiler. Let's just say he gets back up. ;c)
What motivated you to start writing?
A friend of mine suggested I write a novel. I immediately said I couldn't and that was the end of it … only it started to bug me I'd said I couldn't do something. So I wrote a book, and I submitted it to exactly one publisher just to say I followed through, LOL. Imagine my surprise when the contract arrived, and a few months later my debut DOWN IN FLAMES hit the shelves.
Who are your favorite authors of all time?
I used to read a ton when I was a kid, but when I started having babies I didn't read anything but parenting magazines for years. I credit Carolyn Keene (or, rather, the ghost writers) for developing my love of mystery through the Nancy Drew Case Files I read as a teen. Years later, the Harlequin Intrigue line cemented my love of romantic suspense. I honestly don't think I'd have stuck with writing if not for discovering that particular genre, which I absolutely adore.
What is one book everyone should read?
This is a hard question for me because the exact answer depends on my audience, LOL. But one of the few I've read more than once is ISAAC'S STORM by Erik Larson. It's a narrative nonfiction account of the 1900 Galveston hurricane, which still counts as the deadliest in U.S. history. It's a profound story—if fiction, no one would believe it.
If you could go anywhere in the universe where would that be?
I'd love to drag my husband to Europe—I've toured Spain, and now I'd like to see Italy or Ireland—but he won't fly and I'm afraid of breaking some obscure law and ending up in a foreign jail, lol. So I'll keep it simple and say I'd like to be in the Florida Keys, in a cabin cruiser anchored within swimming distance of a great bar with fabulous food and live music, LOL. (We already have the boat, so I guess it's just a matter of filling it up with fuel and taking a few days off to get there.)
And just for fun, what is your favorite word?
Please, please, please no one tell my kids I said this, LOL, but it's "mom." My husband and I have six kids and homeschool them, and they drive me about half crazy most of the time, but I wouldn't trade them for anything in this world. My life wouldn't be the same if not for the constant demands of "Mooooooooom!" and the variations thereof, which include "Mudder" (that would be my 4-year-old son saying "Mother") and "Hey, Mom" (the 8-year-old boy, who has largely replaced that with "Hey Mom . . . sorry, it's a force of habit" because I kept telling him I wasn't "Hey, Mom.") There are three girls and three boys, ages 13, 11, 8, 6, 4, and the little one turns two this month. ;c)
Wow, five kids - that would certainly keep life interesting, and my hands are full with just my three girls. Thank you so much for coming!