BOOK FUN MAGAZINE - FREE READ

SANDRA BYRD INTERVIEW AND GIVEAWAY - ENTER TODAY


ABOUT AUTHOR: After earning her first rejection at the age of thirteen, bestselling author Sandra Byrd has now published more than fifty books.

Sandra's series of historically sound Gothic romances, Daughters of Hampshire, launched with the best-selling Mist of Midnight, which earned a coveted Editor’s Choice award from the Historical Novel Society. The second book, Bride of a Distant Isle, has been selected by Romantic Times as a Top Pick. The third in the series, A Lady in Disguise, published in 2017. Sandra is excited to continue writing Gothic romance and will be adding books to that genre beginning in October 2018 with Tyndale House Publishers.

Check out her contemporary adult fiction debut, Let Them Eat Cake, which was a Christy Award finalist, as was her first historical novel, To Die For: A Novel of Anne Boleyn. To Die For was also named a Library Journal Best Books Pick for 2011, and The Secret Keeper: A Novel of Kateryn Parr was named a Library Journal Best Books Pick for 2012.

Sandra has published dozens of books for kids, tweens, and teens, including the bestselling The One Year Be-Tween You and God Devotions for Girls. She continued her work as a devotionalist, this time for women, with The One Year Home and Garden Devotions. Her latest book, The One Year Experiencing God’s Love Devotional, will be published in October 2017.

Sandra is passionate about helping new writers develop their talents and their work for traditional publishing or self-publication. She has mentored and coached hundreds of new writers and continues to guide developing authors toward success each year via novelcoaching.com.

Please visit www.sandrabyrd.com to learn more or to invite Sandra to your book club via Skype.  
Salvation Army

How did you come up with the idea for A Lady in Disguise?



SANDRA: I’ve always admired the work that the Salvation Army does, and when we were in London some years ago, I visited their headquarters.  It was a good starting point for me. But during my research, I learned about the woman who reached out in ministry to the pantomime waifs – child actors who were a part of the big, musical productions but often had nothing to turn to when their time acting was over.  I became interested in it because it was such a difficult foil – a happy, theatrical time for those who bought tickets, but a path which led to a not so happy life, and considerable risks, for the kids providing the entertainment. I admired Mrs. Barlee, who took up their cause.

Nora: I enjoyed learning about this topic. It was fascinating and sad to learn about the realities for these young ones.

What do you hope readers take away from A Lady in Disguise?

SANDRA: Gillian’s main philosophy is we can do for one what we cannot do for many. Often the scope of human suffering is so large that we are paralyzed into thinking we cannot do much, so why do anything? But if one by one, each of us reached out to sponsor a child, take in a foster child, contribute to a food bank, or anything that tugs on your heart, we can make a collective difference.

Nora: I liked Gillian’s philosophy and her generous heart!

What was your favorite scene in A Lady in Disguise? Which was the most fun to write? Which was the hardest? Why?
Drury

SANDRA:  My favorite scene was the final scene at the theatre because I’m a romantic and my girl had earned her happy ever after.

The hardest scene to write is when she was betrayed. Readers sometimes speak against characters who “should have known better” or “should have seen something sooner,” but really, do any of us? We all want to believe the best of people, especially people who should love us until we are confronted with hard truths.

Nora: I LOVED the theatre aspect to this story and the fact she was making gowns for the play Cinderella. Good point you make about the hardest scene.

Can you tell me of two “Wow” moments you’ve had in your writing career? What made it a wow for you?

SANDRA:  Wow moments always include becoming friends – and even roommates! – with authors whose work I have long admired. You pinch yourself.  It’s a fangirl moment and just a privilege to be among people whose work you enjoy.

Nora: Fun!

Second, it was a wow moment when the Lord showed me once that the greatest trust He’d shown in me was not for my fiction, or for my work for adults, even. It was writing for kids - devotionals for kids, to be exact – and speaking to them, for Him. I was awestruck, humbled, and to be honest, a little frightened by, in the best sense, the responsibility and trust.

Nora: Powerful!

I like the balance you have in your female leads in this series. The women were smart yet vulnerable and are determined to stay the course to get to the bottom of matters. What do you hope women take away from the women in this series?

SANDRA: The heroines in my books cannot just solve their problems as you or I might - but I love them the more for that; they are forced to cleverly use the tools at hand. Truthfully, all of us, then and now, are constrained in some way from the full self-determination we would prefer, and perhaps that is one way we identify with them. And yet ... the human spirit, a strong woman's spirit, faces those challenges head on, tries to think through what she wants, and then plots a way toward it. When roadblocks occur, she finds a way over, around, or through. That was true a thousand years ago and is still true, now.

The very freedom of our age has wrought a new set of challenges. But we still find a way to triumph. Seeing women do that, then, encourages me as a woman to do that, now. If they can be contenders, so can I!

Also - we must all be risk-takers to gain what we want: love, respect, a meaningful life, and personal fulfillment. Today's readers certainly have that in common with yesterday's women, my historical heroines.

Nora: So, true. I like how you said that.

I adored Miss Gillian Young she was smart, generous, faithful, courageous and loving. I liked reading about how she stayed true to herself and her faith. She wouldn’t just marry anyone. She’d rather work hard to accomplish her goals. What made that and her faith important to you to include that in the book?
The Royal Withdrawing Room

SANDRA: My faith is central to my worldview and interests, so it informs the subjects I pursue in my books. Honestly, I felt it would be anachronistic to write about 19th Century England and not have any mention of or interaction with faith; it was completely integrated into daily and weekly life. It interests me how a strong Christian woman approaches challenges in her era and setting. I don't set out, in fiction, to teach, only to show and reveal and understand through the heroine's eyes. Hopefully, that makes a good story whether the reader is a Christian or not!

Nora: Yes, I agree! Every book in this series has been a powerful memorable read.

Can you give us a sneak peek into what you are working on now? When will it be out?
Earl Grey Creme Brulee
SANDRA: I’m feverishly working on a book tentatively titled, What Deepest Shadows Hide, also a Victorian Gothic, romantic suspense.  It will be published by Tyndale House in October 2018, and I’m so excited to bring more in this thrilling genre to readers such as yourself!

Nora: Sounds like fun. I can’t wait to read it.

FUN QUESTIONS I JUST HAD TO ASK 

You are shipwrecked on an uninhabited tropical island with a group of Christians – all friends and relatives of yours. You all have to work as a team to survive. Many roles have to be filled. Which role do you think you’d play?

SANDRA: I’m the oldest child, so I’m sure I’d be trying to organize everyone. 😊 This is probably why I am an inveterate book plotter!

Nora: Grin!

What movie affected most you when you were young? If you didn’t watch movies what books affected you most? What did you walk away from the movie/book thinking?

SANDRA: The books (and later television shows) that most impacted me were the Little House on the Prairie books.  They developed my love of history and historical novels at a young age. Fact is, though, I have always loved to read. Read everything and anything, including the proverbial back of the cereal boxes!  I also loved Family Affair. Ah, Buffy. I still have my Mrs. Beasley!

Nora: I love Little House!

A friend of yours has a time machine and they will let you use if for a while. Where would you go and what would you do?
Cheynetown Home


SANDRA: Oh, I would definitely visit the eras and areas in which I love to write about. Often, when I’m in London, I feel like I am already in a time machine.  I have stood on the spot which people I’ve written about have been executed, I’ve visited Westminster Abbey where Elizabeth I and Mary Tudor next to each other, I’ve walked along parts of the Roman wall which encircled the city. I’d love to visit Revolutionary America, too. In all these places, I’d observe. Eat! And take good notes!


Nora: Sounds like an interesting trip. I’d love to hear about your adventures over a cup of tea!


What two jobs have you had that would surprise people? Do tell!

SANDRA: I was a waitress in a Jewish deli and a temporary bill collector for a department store.  I learned a lot in both of them!

Nora: No I would have never guessed! Grin!

Out of all the sounds in the world which are your favorite?
SANDRA: My children’s laughter.
Sandra with Paddington Bear
Nora: We don’t laugh enough! Grin!

Thank you for stopping by and helping us get to know you. I’ve enjoyed The Daughter of Hampshire series so much. I look forward to your next book What Deepest Shadows Hide, also a Victorian Gothic, romantic suspense. Thanks for giving away a copy of A Lady in Disguise here on TBCN blog.

TO ENTER DRAWING for the book A LADY IN DISGUISE PLEASE ANSWER ONE of the following Questions.

1.  What is your favorite element to discover in a fiction book?
2.  What do you enjoy about a Victorian Gothic story?
3.  What does do you look forward to in a romantic suspense story?
4.  If you’ve read any of Sandra Byrd’s books, which is your favorite? Why is it your favorite?
5. What is your favorite genre to read?
6. Favorite book you've read this year?

Sign up for Sandra’s Newsletter for a bonus prize.
 
This drawing for a copy of A Lady in Disguise will end on Saturday, June 17th. ***USA Residents Only***

Tell Your Friends to JOIN the Book Fun!

Thanks for stopping by Sandra! Grin!

Nora St.Laurent
TBCN COO Where Book Fun Begins!

104 comments:

  1. My favorite element to discover in a fiction book is suspense or mystery, especially when you don't see a plot twist coming. Thanks for the chance to win a book.

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    1. I agree with you. The element of surprise is fun!

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    2. I love to read - and write - plot twists, too!

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  2. This was a fun, intriguing Victorian Romance, Gothic Thriller I couldn't put down. I've enjoyed this hole series. This last book was my favorite because it included Gillian who was a an enterprising seamstress who was imaginative and creative in the gowns she created. I loved the fact that she was commissioned to do the designs for the Cinderella play. I liked the fact that she recruited young girls who she could teach a trade to so they weren't forced into doing things they didn't want to do, to give them a head start in life.

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    1. Thank you for reading the book, and hosting me here, Nora. I'm delighted you loved it!!

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  3. Although I enjoy many types of novels, I would have to say that Austenesque fiction remains my favorite. Looking forward to reading A Lady in Disguise, too! --Laura Hartness (LauraHartness at gmail dot com)

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    1. I'll have to check out that genre Laura!

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    2. Thank you for giving A Lady a try. It might have some of the Austenesque elements you enjoy!

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  4. I love all of Sandra's books. But To Die For holds a special place in my heart. I loved the loyalty and friendship between Anne and Meg.

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    1. I'll have to add But to Die For to my list of Sandra's books to read. Sounds like a special book for-sure!

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    2. Thank you, Gail. It's such a blessing to touch someone's heart with a book!

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  5. Great interview. One of my favorite genres to read is romantic suspense.

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    1. I like that Genre too Galinda!

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    2. I hope you'll find good romantic suspense in A A Lady in Disguise!

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  6. Great interview. One of my favorite genres to read is romantic suspense.

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  7. My favorite genre is women's fiction. :)

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    1. I'm glad we have so many genres to read - like a deliciously varied diet!

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    2. I love to be immersed in the time, too, dropped right into an era. I hope to write books that do that, too!

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  8. Question 2: What I like best is learning the history and lifestyles of a bygone time. It's like living history, if done well. Please enter me in the giveaway contest.

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    1. I like learning about history through fiction. It really keeps my attention! No history book could do that! Grin!

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  9. Nora, I'm here and had no trouble. All I had to do was scroll down to comment. :) I read women's fiction, primarily. It's my favorite genre.

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    1. Thanks for leading the way my friend! Grin! I appreciate all your help!

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  10. I've read all of Sandra's novels, except those written for YA. A Lady in Disguise is my favorite. I enjoy Gothic romance, and this one especially grabbed me because I'm drawn to everything pertaining to the theatre and custom design. It was fascinating to learn how women were treated in the theatre during that time, and I liked seeing how ministry was brought in to help those who were no longer able to work as actors.

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    1. Thanks for stopping by Dawn. I agree with you about this being the best. I loved the theatrical element of the story. I really liked the ministry element too the story. Gillian is sincere and I loved that she had a heart for the young girls. It definitely was a fun read. Although I did want to yell out-loud to Gillian not to leave home unchaperoned it was dangerous out there late at night. But alas, she didn't listen! Which made me want to bite my nails as I didn't know what would happen to her! Grin!

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    2. Thank you, Dawn! It was fun that we were both writing books pertaining to sewing at the same time!! I loved reading Hope's Design!

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  11. I particularly enjoy romantic suspense. I have not read any of your books so I am looking forward to checking them out. Thank you for this interview and giveaway.

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    1. I think you'll enjoy it if you like romantic suspense. It's fun to read ... and to write!

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  12. I have two favorite genres which I bounce back and forth between: Romantic Suspense and Historical Romance. I am adding this one to my TBR list. Thanks for the interview and the giveaway!

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    1. Oh good! I hope I can "tick all your boxes" as the British say with this book. Thanks for giving it a try!

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  13. I enjoyed your interview and signed up for your newsletter. :) I enjoy historical romance, all kinds of time periods but mainly 1800s. God bless

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    1. The 19th Century is a favorite of mine, too. Thanks for signing up!!

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  14. I've read quite a few books this year but a recent one I read that I really liked is Deborah Raney's Because of the Rain. Another one, not in the Christian fiction genre is Simon Tolkien's No Man's Land. I love suspense, thrillers, mysteries but I also like the sweet romances too. Actually, I just love to read! Thanks for sharing the interview. I look forward to reading this one!

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    1. Deb Raney is wonderful! I, too, like to read in many genres. It's like eating lots of delicious food!!

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  15. I love plot twists and mysteries and anything set in the victroian era is my jm ty for the chance ur book sounds awesome

    mortalsinn@yahoo.com

    Beverly

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    1. Oh - I love those, too, and I hope you'll check out the book if you like Victorians!!

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  16. One element I like to find in fiction I read is myself. I like being able to relate to the main character and learn something new about myself.

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    1. Me, too! It's an easier way to absorb a new insight, isn't it?

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  17. Hmm. I love reading historical fiction and discovering something new about the time period. Great interview!
    Thanks
    Becky B.

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    1. Thank you! It's fun to be immersed in an era!

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  18. I was a big fan of Victoria Holt and her Gothics and I still enjoy mysteries and suspense.
    I just finished reading As My Parents Age by Cynthia Ruchti. It will be a wonderful resource for those dealing with the issues of older parents.
    Sandra, your book looks wonderful!
    Connie
    cps1950AtgmailDOTcom

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    1. Thank you, Connie! We are kindred Victoria Holt sisters!! xx

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  19. I like romance the best. I would like to read this one it sounds intriguing!
    douglas(dot)Emilee(at)yahoo(dot)com

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    1. I tried to write it with intrigue so I do hope you enjoy!!

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  20. What a fun interview. I haven't read any of Sandra's books yet, but I've heard great things about them. I have A Lady in Disguise on my wish list, so it would be wonderful to win a copy.
    I love to read historical fiction, especially if it has some romance in it.

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    1. I'm glad to be on your TBR list, Winnie! I do hope you enjoy it, and yes, there is romance in here for sure!

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  21. Great interview! My very favorite genre is Historical Fiction even though I read other kinds of Christian Fiction. I signed up for your newsletter. Thanks for the giveaway!

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    1. I love all genres but my fav is historical fiction, too. Thanks so much for subscribing!!

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  22. I love romantic suspense because there are so many elements of real life in them. One of my favorites reads this year is As My Parent Age.

    I have to check out your books Ms Byrd.

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    1. You know, thanks for that recommendation. I'm going to check out that book!

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  23. My favorite part about a Victorian gothic is the mystery. It's an eerie, ghostly kind of mystery but it's not. My favorite genre to read in romantic suspense.

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  24. My favorite part of a Victorian gothic is the mystery. It's an eerie, ghostly kind of mystery but it's not. Hard to explain. My favorite genre is romantic suspense.

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    1. I love that part, too,and the darkness is such a good foil for the light which comes from it!

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    2. I like that part, too, and I think the darkness is such a great foil for the light which follows!

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  25. 1. What is your favorite element to discover in a fiction book?
    I love when there is a hidden truth within the book that makes me think and look deeper at my own life and the world around me.

    2. What do you enjoy about a Victorian Gothic story?
    The suspense and the way it keeps me reading well into the night.

    3. What does do you look forward to in a romantic suspense story?
    4. If you’ve read any of Sandra Byrd’s books, which is your favorite? Why is it your favorite?
    I've liked all the books that I've read so far. In the Mist of Midnight I liked the intrigue surrounding the identity of Rebecca Ravenshaw. In Roses Have Thorns I enjoyed the historical aspects of Helena (Elin) Snakenborg's life in Elizabethan England.

    5. What is your favorite genre to read?
    I can't choose I like so many.

    6. Favorite book you've read this year?
    It is a toss up between several books Catching the Wind, The Dog Who Was There, King's Blood, The Cottage, and A Harvest of Thorns.

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    1. I've loved reading your responses, and will be checking out some of the books you've mentioned!

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  26. My favorite genre is historical fiction. I think this would fit.
    I think my favorite book this year was The Mark of the King by Jocelyn Green.

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    1. I have heard such good things about that book!

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  27. ohh what a wonderful interview.
    My favorite genre is inspirational historical westerns.
    I am just starting to get into other eras.
    will definitely have to check out her books.
    Oh favorite book I have read so far this year is "A Scarlet Thread" by Francine Rivers. A fantastic book
    quilting dash lady at Comcast dot net

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  28. 2. What do you enjoy about a Victorian Gothic story?

    The elegance and style! :)

    5. What is your favorite genre to read?
    Historical Fiction, Regency, etc.

    Many Blessings, Amada (pronounced: a.m.a.th.a)
    amada_chavezATyahooDOTcom

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    1. I love elegant writing, too. Certain eras make that more possible than others, don't they?

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  29. My favorite genre is suspense, especially the heart pounding wait till the end surprise.

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  30. Mystery/suspense is my favorite genre. I LOVE Sandra's stories! I'm excited to read A Lady in Disguise!

    psalm103and138 at gmail dot com

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    1. I'm eager for you to read it too, friend!

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  31. I like for a book to feel believable and have characters I can connect with.

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    1. Me too. Like they could be a friend!

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  32. New favorite read is Jody Hedlund's book 3 of her lighthouse series..."Undaunted Hope, Beacons of Hope Book 3", historical romantic fiction, it's about a woman having the courage to face fears.

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  33. My favorite genre is historical fiction but like romance,thriller/suspense, and christian novels.

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    1. It's fun when bits of all of them can be blended together!

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  34. I am an avid reader, so it is hard to name only one favorite, but I have just finished Love Story by Karen Kingsbury. A great read!

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    1. It's a wonderful thing to be an avid reader!

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  35. I enjoy the mystery of the suspense. Who did it? What twist did the author throw my way? Did I guess it? Lots of fun!
    dianemestrella at gmail dot com

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    1. I enjoy that part, too. Even when I know, who done it, I want to know if they will be caught before they get someone else!

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  36. My favorite genre is Christian Historical suspenseful romance! I really liked the first two books in Sandra's series and look forward to this one. I also had fun reading about Lexie in France in that trilogy, too!

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    1. Thank you so much for reading my books, Paula. {{hugs}} That makes my day!

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  37. I love romantic suspense. I've read 2 of your books To Die For and Mist of Midnight. Loved both of them and they're on my keeper shelf.
    Theresa N
    weceno(at)yahoo(dot)com

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    1. Thank you, Theresa!! I hope to write more books that you will want to keep. I so appreciate you!!

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  38. My favorite element to discover in a fiction book is the plot twist. You don't see something coming, and it just happen. Also the mystery around it.
    Historical fiction is my favorite, because I learn also about an certain era. If there is some romance and suspence in it it's a perfect read fot me.

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    1. My favorites are the books which combine all of those elements!!

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  39. What I enjoy about a Victorian Gothic story is being immersed into a different time and place. Of the clothing they wore and the things that were considered scandalous.

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    1. It's fun to just be dipped deep into an era, isn't it?

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  40. My fave genre to read is Historical Romance...fave book was Catherine Marshall's Christy - My great aunt purchased it for me as a Christmas gift when I was an adolescent...may have shaped my favorite reading genre at that time.

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  41. In a romantic suspense story, I look forward to the interaction between characters and the resolution of the mystery.

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    1. I definitely want all those threads wrapped up, too!

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  42. I love romantic suspense, and love trying to figure out the answers. And plot twists and the best because it throws me completely off course. And the Romance in the suspense that starts with two people who just clearly can't stand each other makes it even more intriguing!

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  43. Thanks for sharing some behind-the-scenes about your new story! I love Gothic romance because of the suspense and creepiness and the over-the-top Byronic heroes. I'd love to check out your series. Best wishes on this release.
    Emily

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    1. Oh, please do. We like the same things and I hope that you'd like the books!!

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  44. My favorite genre to read is Hostorical Fiction. I especially have a pull for the medieval time-period, but I pretty much love ALL historicals!
    Elly -Indiana-

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  45. The genre of books that I love best would be historical/romantic fiction. I love reading about the fashions and way of life in various places in time. Thank you for the opportunity to win this book.
    Paula Young

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    1. PLEASE Message me at The Book Club Network www.bookfun.org or you can email me at nora@bookfunmagazine.com THANKS!

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  46. What I like the best is an unexpected twist, at the end or in the middle, I like a surprise!

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  47. i too love the romantic suspense that keeps you on the edge of your seat to the very last page, totally absorbed :)

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  48. My favorite book of Sandra's is Mist of Midnight! Such an excellent plot, and VICTORIAN, which is my favorite genre to read, period. 📚

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  49. I just finished Beneath Copper Falls by Colleen Coble. It was great!

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  50. One of my favorite elements is when an author surprises you with something that you would never see coming. Therefore, for me the book The Hike by Drew Magary is one of those perfect books because the reader has no idea what is going to happen next. I also enjoy historical fiction because even though it is fiction you still learn things regarding that time period.

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  51. My favorite genre of all time is Amish/Christian Fiction...I really enjoy it! It relaxes me...whenever I read b

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  52. Hello, I am an avid reader who enjoys exploring many genres... If I were stranded on an island, I would appreciate having historical, romance novels to read!
    Many thanks, Cindi

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  53. 3. What does do you look forward to in a romantic suspense story?

    I look forward to suspense that keeps me on the edge of my seat guessing who has done what. A romance brewing is always a good thing too.
    Deanne
    Cnnamongirl at aol dot com

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  54. My favorite genre is Christian fiction - romantic suspense, and not giving away the ending throughout the book.

    I have not read any of your books, but I am very interested in A Lady in Disguise.

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  55. My favorite genre is Christian fiction for women - romantic suspense - not giving away the ending!

    I have not read any of your books, but I am interested in A Lady in Disguise.

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  56. So far this year, my favorite book I've read is "Descended--Jett" by Dana Pratola. It is an awesome book, and caught me entirely by surprise. It's truly a unique book, with amazing tension built into it. I was totally blown away with the ending.

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