Monday, April 10, 2017

LOVE AT SUNSET LAKE - Sally Bayless - One Free Book

Dear Readers, our author today is a debut author. I’ve read the featured book. I loved it. Sally is an author to keep an eye on. Her writing is very good and her characters own the stage.

Welcome, Sally. Tell us how much of yourself you write into your characters.
Quite a bit! For instance, in Love at Sunset Lake, the main character, Tess, alphabetizes her spices, makes endless lists, and is very fond of colored gel pens. I’m guilty on all counts.

Another character in Love at Sunset Lake, Stacey, struggles with a recently purchased order of French fries and a realization that she needs to eat healthier food. Stacey, in a fit of tremendous willpower, eventually throws the French fries away uneaten. In my life, the struggle to eat healthy food is very real. I, however, would never throw away perfectly good fries.


What is the quirkiest thing you have ever done?
Hmm… Lots of options here. How about the time, back before the days of Internet shopping, that a friend and I drove five hours (each way) to go to a shoe store in Pennsylvania?

When did you first discover that you were a writer?
I started writing in high school. At the time, I focused mainly on writing for the school newspaper. My first serious attempt at writing a novel was when my kids, who are now 17 and 21, were in grade school.

I was on the high school newspaper staff, too. Tell us the range of the kinds of books you enjoy reading.
I read mostly Christian romance and cozy mysteries. I also read some literary fiction, an occasional biography, some narrative nonfiction (Erik Larson), mainstream contemporary romance, some suspense (especially Dick Francis), and a wide range of mystery novels. I’m always on the lookout for a book that will make me laugh out loud, usually because of its unusual characters.

How do you keep your sanity in our run, run, run world?
I’m blessed to be able to write as my fulltime job. That helps a lot! Also, with my youngest now 17 and driving, I don’t run nearly as much as I used to. I even traded in my mommyvan for a little SUV. Beyond that, the things that keep me sane are starting each day with Bible study and prayer and being able to talk things over with my very logical engineer husband.

How do you choose your characters’ names?
Oh, I struggle with this one, especially the male names! So many names that used to be male are now female. Years ago, I made a giant list of names that I liked, drawn from a name-your-baby website. I usually look there and find some that appeal. Then I look up the meanings of the names and look at data on the Social Security website, which will tell you how popular a name was in a given year. Some character names, though, just come to me.

What is the accomplishment that you are most proud of?
Raising our two children.

If you were an animal, which one would you be, and why?
I would like to be a dolphin. I love swimming, and I could hang out in some warm, tropical ocean.

What is your favorite food?
Answering “all” would be wrong, I suppose. I’ll say it’s a tie between seedless Concord grapes (I think the variety is actually Mars) that I buy at our local farmer’s market in the fall, anything chocolate, and spaghetti and meatballs.

What is the problem with writing that was your greatest roadblock, and how did you overcome it?
Plotting. In college I studied journalism. The plot of a news story is very straightforward. At first, the only way I could really see the three-act structure of a novel was by visualizing each book as a play. To understand plotting, I read many, many books and took several classes online and at conferences. I’m happy to say that plotting is now one of my favorite parts of writing a book.

I use a timeline of events, but not plotting. Tell us about the featured book.
Love at Sunset Lake is a contemporary Christian romance that features a small-town setting, down-to-earth characters, a touch of humor, and the healing power of God’s love.
The heroine is struggling caterer Tess Palmer, who inherits her great-aunt’s home at Sunset Lake, Missouri. She thinks she’s found the way to save her business. Selling the property can provide just the infusion of capital she needs to pay off her debts and move to a larger commercial kitchen.
The hero is wildlife painter Jack Hamlin, who lives across Sunset Lake, and wants the area kept exactly as it is—a place where waterfowl can thrive and where he can find peace and solitude to ease his troubled heart. Although he’s drawn to Tess’s honesty and beauty, he’s appalled to learn she would welcome a deal with a developer, and he vows to stop her.

Please give us the first page of the book for my readers.
Tess Palmer didn’t need to be perfect. She only needed to get every detail right.

Every time.

And as a special events caterer, her to-do list this Friday ran for three entire pages of details.
She stopped at a light in a pricey St. Louis suburb and glanced at the clipboard on the console of her van. For the next event, a simple surprise birthday party, she’d gone over her list so many times that the edges of the paper curled. The future of her catering business was at stake, after all.

She drove two blocks farther, passed a row of dogwoods in full bloom at the entrance to a subdivision, and parked as instructed in the client’s three-car garage, where her commercial van could be hidden from the guest of honor.

Up since five, Tess had triple-checked the food, recounted the plates, and examined every tablecloth for spots. She’d even taken more care than normal with her appearance, using a double coating of hairspray to keep her hair in a bun, dousing her white blouse with extra starch, and wearing her newest black pants. This event was going to be a success. She’d make sure of it.

How can readers find you on the Internet?
My website is Readers can find excerpts from all my books there, can email me, and can sign up for my newsletter and my street team. Newsletter subscribers are the first to learn when I release a new book. My street team reads books before they’re even published and helps promote them on social media.

I’m on Facebook at Facebook is my favorite social media, so I check it often.

Readers, here are links to the book. By using one when you order, you help support this blog.
Leave a comment for a chance to win a free copy of the book. You must follow these instructions to be in the drawing. Please tell us where you live, at least the state or territory or country if outside North America. (Comments containing links may be subject to removal by blog owner.)

Void where prohibited; the odds of winning depend on the number of entrants. Entering the giveaway is considered a confirmation of eligibility on behalf of the enterer in accord with these rules and any pertaining local/federal/international laws.

The only notification you’ll receive is the winner post on this blog. So be sure to check back a week from Saturday to see if you won. You will have 4 weeks from the posting of the winners to claim your book.

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Emily Reynolds said...

Hi, Sally! *waving* Awesome to run into you here! I love Lena's questions--such fun behind-the-scenes reveals! For those who haven't yet had the pleasure, you really will love Sally's stories and writing style. Soooo much fun!!!

Sally Bayless said...

Hi Emily! Yes, Lena's questions are very fun! Thanks for your kind words about my writing!

rubynreba said...

Love at Sunset Lake is a book I know I would enjoy. Thanks for the chance to win it. I enjoyed the review and first page.
Beth from IA

Sally Bayless said...

Hi Beth! I'm glad you enjoyed the little snippet of the story. Good luck in the drawing!

Melanie Backus said...

Sounds like a great read!

Melanie Backus, TX

Sally Bayless said...

Thanks, Melanie!!

Unknown said...

Please enter me- the synopsis sounds riveting. Sally- congratulations on your debut!
~Amanda J. from FL

Connie Porter Saunders said...

I love this title! I live in a very small area that once was named Sunset. Thanks for sharing!
Connie from KY

Sally Bayless said...

Thanks, Amanda! So glad you stopped by!

Sally Bayless said...

Hi Connie. I'm so glad you like the title. I think I'd like to live in a place called Sunset. :)

Sally Bayless said...

Thanks for stopping by, everyone! And thank you, Lena, for having me on your blog. I hope you all have a wonderful Easter tomorrow.

Sharon Richmond Bryant said...

Enter me in your awesome giveaway!!
Conway SC.

Lourdes said...

Thank you for the giveaway. I really enjoyed the interview.

Lourdes in Long Island, NY

rubynreba said...

Looks like another great author with a great debut book. I'm anxious to read this.
Beth from IA

Sally Bayless said...

Hi Sharon! Hi Lourdes! Thanks for stopping by!