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.
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.
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:
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 😀
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.
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!)
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!
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.
What about you? What’s your favorite kitchen gadget?