Welcome to the Blog + Review Tour for The Dark Guest by Sarah Hamaker, hosted by JustRead Publicity Tours! I’m delighted to have Sarah on the blog to share some little-known facts about herself and the story behind the title.
THE DARK GUEST by Sarah Hamaker
SERIES: The Cold War Legacy #1
GENRE: Christian, Romantic Suspense
PUBLISHER: Seshva Press LLC
RELEASE DATE: May 15, 2022
The Cold War is over, but The Wolf is still at the door.
When Violet Lundy isn’t cleaning rooms at Happy Hills Assisted Living Facility, she loves spending her free time with resident Rainer Kopecek. Hearing his stories of the dangerous life he led behind the Iron Curtain in East Berlin makes her own life seem more tolerable. But when Rainer is found dead and his room in disarray, Violet suspects foul play.
Dr. Henry Silverton lives among his books, teaching and writing about the Cold War. A letter about an East German traitor known only as “The Wolf” propels Henry out of academia and into Violet’s life. Together, they embark on a perilous quest to uncover the truth about Rainer’s death and the traitor’s identity.
Can Violet and Henry uncover the secrets of the past before one of them ends up as The Wolf’s next victim?
by Sarah Hamaker, author of The Dark Guest
little-known facts about Sarah hamaker
- I’ve carved an ice sculpture with a chainsaw.
- I fainted during a choir concert when I was a ninth grader (a very mortifying experience!)
- I had a paper route from age 12 to 17, delivering the local afternoon paper on my bike.
- I hate coffee. Shocker for a writer, I know, but while I enjoy the smell, I can’t stand the taste.
- I’ve written a book on parenting (Ending Sibling Rivalry), working from home (Hired@Home), and a children’s chapter fiction work (Lady Elaine: The Journey to Camelot).
Why did you name the book The Dark Guest?
As a reformed Presbyterian (PCA), I’ve become more acquainted with the Puritans and their writings. Titles like The Mystery of Providence and The Rare Jewel of Christian Contentment have brought fresh understanding to modern-day troubles. The Banner of Truth Trust publishers have brought many of these little gems back to life through reprints.
Among those is a lovely book of Puritan prayers called The Valley of Vision, that my husband and I read together for family devotions before we had kids. According to the back cover copy, “The strength of Puritan character and life lay in prayer and meditation.” This collection of prayers, written in poem form, are gathered “from the largely forgotten deposit of Puritan spiritual exercises, meditations and aspirations. They testify to the richness and colour of evangelical thought and language that animated vital piety in an important stream of English religious life,” as the preface states.
One of the poem-prayers, grouped under the section called “Penitence and Deprecation,” was entitled “The Dark Guest.” The poem talks about how sin becomes the dark guest within us but grace, through the cross, provides deliverance.
When I first read this prayer-poem, I thought the title would make a wonderful romantic suspense book title because of the way sin causes all sorts of chaos in our lives. When the idea for the plot came to me, I knew immediately The Dark Guest would work as the title because of the long secrets my hero and heroine uncover.
My story shows what happens when we allow sin to stay as a guest in our hearts. A guest implies we welcomed sin in, and at times, this is very true of us. If we don’t evict the “guest,” he will take up permanent residence and demand more and more of us. In my story, Violet and Henry must confront the sin in their own hearts that have taken up residence, as well as combat the long shadow sin can cast on others when sin is allowed to fester for years.
Here’s a snippet of “The Dark Guest” from The Valley of Vision.
“O my crucified but never wholly mortified sinfulness!
O my life-long damage and daily shame!
O my indwelling and besetting sins!
O the tormenting slavery of a sinful heart!
Destroy, O God, the dark guest within
whose hidden presence makes my life a hell. …
There is no treasure so wonderful
as that continuous experience of thy grace toward me
which alone can subdue the risings of sin within:
Give me more of it.”
Sarah Hamaker loves writing books “where the hero and heroine fall in love while running for their lives.” She’s written romantic suspense novels and nonfiction books, as well as stories in Chicken Soup for the Soul volumes. As a writers coach, her heart is encouraging writers. She’s a member of ACFW; ACFW Virginia Chapter; and Faith, Hope and Love, as well as the president of Capital Christian Writers Fellowship. Her podcast, “The Romantic Side of Suspense,” can be found wherever you listen to podcasts. Sarah lives in Virginia with her husband, four teenagers, a preschool foster child and three cats.
Visit her online at sarahhamakerfiction.com.
(1) winner will receive a copy of The Dark Guest (print or ebook, winner’s choice), a 20 oz Wolf Tumbler-Stainless Steel Travel Mug With Lid And Straw, a Wolf Wristlet Keychain, an assortment of specialty teas, a The Dark Guest tote, and The Dark Guest notebook.
(1) additional winner will receive an ebook copy of The Dark Guest, a Wolf Wristlet Keychain, an assortment of specialty teas, and The Dark Guest notebook.
Full tour schedule linked below. The giveaway begins at midnight October 11, 2022 and will last through 11:59 PM EST on October 18, 2022. Winner will be notified within 2 weeks of close of the giveaway and given 48 hours to respond or risk forfeiture of prize. US only. Void where prohibited by law or logistics.
Giveaway is subject to the policies found here.
This giveaway is hosted by JustRead Tours, not RimSP
Follow along at JustRead Tours for a full list of stops!
What about you? What makes you want to read The Dark Guest by Sarah Hamaker?