Author Interview (and a Giveaway!): Sandra Byrd

March 15, 2017 Author Interview, Christian, giveaway, historical, mystery/suspense, romance, Sandra Byrd 75

Author Interview RIMSP

It is my very great privilege to welcome the lovely Sandra Byrd to the blog today!

Award-winning and bestselling author Sandra Byrd has published four dozen books in the fiction and nonfiction markets, including Mist of Midnight, Bride of a Distant Isle (A Romantic Times Book Reviews Top Pick), and her most recent, A Lady in Disguise. For nearly two decades, Sandra has shared her secrets with the many writers she edits, mentors, and coaches. She lives in the Seattle, Washington area.

You can connect with Sandra on her website, Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram and Twitter.

Her newest book, A Lady in Disguise, releases March 21st.

In this intriguing novel of romance, mystery, and clever disguise set in Victorian England, a young woman investigates the murder of her own father.

After the mysterious death of her father, Miss Gillian Young takes a new job as the principal costume designer at the renowned Theatre Royal, Drury Lane. But while she remembers her father as a kind, well-respected man of the Police Force, clues she uncovers indicate he’d been living a double life: a haunting photograph of a young woman; train stubs for secret trips just before his death; and a receipt for a large sum of money. Are these items evidence of her father’s guilty secrets? His longtime police partner thinks so.

Then Gillian meets the dashing Viscount Thomas Lockwood. Their attraction is instant and inescapable. As their romantic involvement grows, Gillian begins to suspect even Lockwood’s motives. Does Lord Lockwood truly love her? Or is his interest a front for the desire to own her newly inherited property? And what should she make of her friend’s suggestion that Lockwood or men like him were involved in the murder of her father?

Soon Gillian is convinced that her father has left evidence somewhere that can prove his innocence and reveal the guilty party. But someone wants to stop her from discovering it. The closer she comes to uncovering it, the more menacing her opposition grows. With her life on the line, Gillian takes on an ingenious disguise and takes on the role of a lifetime to reveal the true killer—before it’s too late both for her and for those that she loves.

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Hi Sandra! I’m so honored (and a little fangirly) to have you on the blog! Thank you so much for chatting with me! 🙂

Sandra: It’s my pleasure! Anyone one who promotes Christian fiction like you do, well, that makes ME a little fangirly! 😊

I start all of my guests out with a fast four:

apples or oranges

Sandra: Apples! I’m a Washington State girl, and we grow 6 out of every 10 apples eaten in the US.

Carrie: I did not know that but I’m an apple fan all the way. Considering all the snow y’all have gotten this year, too, I may have to convince my husband to relocate to Washington 😀

winter or summer

Sandra: Oh, summer… because it rains a lot where I live, which means I cannot wait for the sun to return. I like to garden – a lot!

Carrie: Hmmm…. gardening. I have never met a plant I couldn’t kill. LOL.

dogs or cats

Sandra: I’m allergic to cats, so I admire them, but from afar.

Carrie: The best way to admire cats, in my opinion (and Zuzu’s!)

coffee or tea

Sandra: Both – coffee in the morning, tea in the afternoon. Hot in the winter, iced in the summer. I’m an equal opportunity caffeine imbiber!

Carrie: haha!

Around here I like to say that reading is my superpower. If YOU had a superpower, what would it be?

Sandra: Well, I have mastered a wide range of kitchen accessories. I have them all: Kitchen Aid, pressure cooker, rice cooker, waffle maker, zoodle maker, electric tea kettle, stovetop espresso maker, slow cooker, egg steamer, Soda Stream, crepe maker, potato ricer, food processor, sausage maker… I could go on, but I do understand you have word count limits. In the kitchen, to quote the lyrics of the song by Snap, “I’ve got the power!”

Carrie: LOL! I love this! You are the person to have around for those of us who don’t particularly like to cook 😉

Which books are “on your nightstand”?

Sandra: Streams in the River, and Praying Scripture Back to God by Kenneth Boa are always on my nightstand. Right now, I also have an arc of Catching the Wind, Melanie Dobson’s new book. I can’t wait to read it.  I just finished reading When Breath Becomes Air, by Paul Kalanithi.  It’s an amazing memoir and has his honest, touching faith journey firmly woven throughout. (There are a few instances of strong language, so reader be advised.) 

Carrie: I use Praying Scripture Back to God too – it’s such a wonderful resource! And Catching the Wind is fantastic. I highly recommend it.

What’s the weirdest thing you’ve ever Googled while researching a book?

Sandra: How peoples’ heads were attached to pikes on the bridges of London, and how long they stayed there. I wrote Tudor books, too. 😊 You did ask!!

Carrie: haha!! I did, yes…. LOL

I confess I’m rather new to the Gothic romance genre. (Besides your books, I think I’ve read two? lol) What inspired you to write this particular genre?

Sandra: I love Gothic romances, a little creepy around the edges, the kind of book wherein you devoutly hope the hero is who you want him to be, not who you suspect he might be. I especially love those with a historical and British bent, with a heroine who is both vulnerable and strong. I’ve fond memories of sharing Victoria Holt’s books with my grandmother.  I couldn’t find many, and I wanted to read them, so I decided to write them!

Carrie: I need to check out Victoria Holt’s books!

In A Lady in Disguise, Gillian is the principal costume designer for the Drury Lane Theatre Royal.  What sort of interesting historical tidbits did you find as you researched this novel?

Sandra: One fun tidbit was to learn about Twin Balls – where costumes would be made to represent one person or concept on one-half, and the opposite on the other. Someone might have a gown that would look like fire on the left-hand side and ice on the right or day on the front and starry night on the back. Just like today, the “celebrities” dressed to outdo each other – and it was competitive! It was great fun to research the costumes and dresses in the theatre and aristocratic world.

Carrie: oh how fun!! Who needs the red carpet when you have costume balls?

What do you most want readers to take away from A Lady in Disguise?

Sandra: We can all do for one what we cannot do for many – it can be as little as smiling warmly at someone who looks sad, something more, such as sponsoring a child overseas, or something even larger such as caring for a foster child.  One by one, we can do it.

Carrie: Yes. Yes. Yes.

Again thank you so much for taking time to talk with me! 🙂 Before we say goodbye for today, tell us what‘s coming up next for you.

Sandra: Although A Lady in Disguise is the final Daughters of Hampshire series, I’m happy to say that I will continue to write Victorian Gothic romantic suspense, this time, published by Tyndale House. Please sign up for my newsletter so I can let you know when they are out. We have a fun teacup exchange each September, too!

Thank you for hosting me, Carrie!! Blogging is your other Superpower!! 😉

Carrie: Haha!!! Fangirling is too, but I’m proud of myself for keeping that under control during this Q&A 😉 So excited about your new books!

Sandra Byrd is giving away a Happy Ever After Prize candle to one of my readers. When you burn it, it reveals a ring. (HOW COOL IS THAT?!? lol. I want one.) Giveaway is open to US addresses only and is subject to Reading Is My SuperPower’s giveaway policies. (Can be found on Disclosure and Policies page)

Void where prohibited by law. Enter via the Rafflecopter form below.

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What about you? What’s your favorite kitchen gadget?

Carrie

75 Responses to “Author Interview (and a Giveaway!): Sandra Byrd”

  1. Kay Garrett

    My favorite kitchen small appliance has to be my Kitchenaid mixer. I bake a lot and wouldn’t take nothing for it as much as I use it. However, not sure if this is considered a gadget or not. As for what I call small gadgets, I’d have to say it would be my little cookie scoop. I love the way it enables me to make uniform sized cookies – almost professionally looking. 🙂

  2. Amy

    I think the Kitchen Aid mixer is my favorite kitchen gadget. It just makes baking a breeze!

    • Sandra Byrd

      It does! We scrimped and bought one for my daughter for Christmas this year – she’s been married three years now – and the delight on her face was worth all that saving up!

  3. Dianne Casey

    My favorite kitchen gadget is my Kitchen Aid. I have both a stand mixer and a hand mixer.

  4. Paula S.

    We have Kitchen Aid Mixer, Blender and Food processor and a hot pot( the other brand broke). We use the hot pot at least 6-8 times a day.

  5. Winnie Thomas

    My favorite kitchen gadget is my refrigerator/freezer. It keeps food frozen or cold until you pull it out and warm it up. LOL Can you tell that cooking is not my calling in life? Seriously, though, I have a toaster that I’ve had for almost 49 years–yes, you heard me right! My husband and I got it for our wedding and it’s STILL WORKING! I’d say on the average, we use it at least once a day. And for those inquiring minds who want to know, it’s a GE brand. We are going to be sooooo sad when it dies. At this rate, though, I think I’ll die before it does.

    This was a fun interview, Carrie and Sandra. I’m sad to say that I haven’t read any of your books yet, Sandra, but I’m definitely intrigued by this one, and I’ve heard so many great things about your books!

    • Sandra Byrd

      You know, none of it matters without the fridge, right? So you’ve got the most important things down. I would love for you to read A Lady in Disguise. Email me after you do, and let me know what you think!

    • Sandra Byrd

      You know, Winnie, none of it matters without the fridge, right? So you’ve got the most important things down. I would love for you to read A Lady in Disguise. Email me after you do, and let me know what you think!

    • Carrie

      my parents had a Kenmore that they got when I was born – it lasted 30 years. GE wins! lol

  6. Marylin Furumasu

    Hi Sandra and Carrie,
    I have a Kitchen Aid mixer and love it but I don’t use it to it’s fullest because if I did I’d be really fat from all the yummy stuff to eat.

    • Sandra Byrd

      You can make things for grandchildren with it, Marylin, when they start eating cupcakes!! 🙂 I’m so glad you loved the book!!!

  7. Pam K.

    My favorite kitchen gadget is my Kitchen Aid mixer. If you haven’t read Sandra’s books yet, you are really missing out! Her Daughters of Hampshire series is superb.

  8. Annie JC @JustCommonly

    I love what Sandra said about one by one, we can do it. So true! Favorite kitchen gadget?? Hmmmm… I don’t know. My tea press? No, my electric hot water dispenser!! That’s it! I think.

  9. Kim G

    I am reading A Lady in Disguise right now!! So far, awesome!! It’s my first book by Sandra.

    Favorite kitchen appliance is my immersion blender and kitchen aid mixer. Sorry had to name both because they tie! And a close second is my Brevil electric skillet. I use it all the time.

    • Sandra Byrd

      I’m glad you like the book so far, Kim! And hey – I didn’t stop at listing one appliance either. My list went on, and on, and … 🙂

  10. Andrea Stephens

    I read Sandra’s “Let Them Eat Cake” years ago but not any in this series. Now that I’m expanding my genres, I think I’d like to give it a try.
    As far as my favorite kitchen gadget, that would be my scraper. It has 2 different sized round corners and 2 squarish corners. It’s really great at scraping the gunk off of pots, pans, casserole dishes and every other thing that food gets burnt, I mean cooked in. I had one from Pampered Chef, but the one that was my favorite was one I got a flea market, it had an advertisement for a funeral home on it! Every time I used it, I thought of the death that was dinner. I avoid cooking whenever possible, I’m not very good at it.

    • Sandra Byrd

      Okay – this is an amazing story. If you don’t write the book – let’s call it Covered Dishes – about a person who can’t cook and finds a casserole dish with a funeral advert in it, I will! Such a fun story. And thank you for reading Cake; I hope you’ll try this series, too!

  11. Jocelyn

    I have a hand mixer that I’ve used ever since we were married. It’s great for blending cake mixes, frosting and whipping up mashed potatoes. Not the most modern gadget, but my favorite.

  12. darla

    I’m not much of a cook so I don’t have one. I would say a juicer in general, but it’s so hard to find a good one

  13. carylkane

    I don’t cook so I don’t have a favorite gadget. The gadget would have to be useful and easy to use. 😉

  14. Samantha Shively

    My favorite gadget is my girl mat! It’s a little piece of black paper like stuff we put on our BBQ to cook steaks and stuff on. It makes clean up so much easier and we don’t get any wire grill brush bristles on our food!

  15. Connie Saunders

    This isn’t a gadget but I will never know how I ever managed without a microwave. I didn’t think I would ever need one UNTIL my first one died!
    Thanks for sharing Sandra’s interview and giveaway. When I first saw the cover of ‘Lady in Disguise’ I was immediately reminded of a Victoria Holt book and that is high praise! I read all of her books!
    Connie
    cps1950(at)gmail(dot)com

  16. Julie Waldron

    My favorite kitchen gadget is my cookie scoop. I love it and it makes cookie baking so much easier.

  17. Patty

    I don’t have many of what I would call gadgets, but I do have a device to make zucchini or other vegetable noodles that I think is pretty neat!

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