Guess what? Tis’ the season and I’m feeling merry! So merry that I’m giving away FIVE advance paperback copies of my debut novel, Fatal Reunion on Goodreads! All you have to do is click the “enter giveaway” button for a chance to win. U.S. only. *see giveaway details for more information.
It’s December 1st and I’m in the Christmas spirit. So I’m giving away 1 advanced paperback copy of my novel, Fatal Reunion, which releases in January!
All you have to do to enter for a chance to win is comment.
*U.S. residents only
*giveaway ends at 12:00 p.m. (CST) Thursday, December 3rd.
What is your favorite Christmas movie?
Miley Cyrus is going to help me. Just like Kutless helped me tell one in 2011. READ IT HERE!
That dream I’m dreaming…
August 2008. I had no idea where it was going to go, but I felt compelled to
write. I gave that manuscript to my mom that Christmas. She cried, but not
because it sucked. Though, I think it might have.
dream agent in Feb. 2011. She offered me representation in September of 2011.
(not my first but 12th) in November 2011. I thought in about a month
or two I’d have a contract, after all this was a God-given dream (insert maniacal
laughter here). I kept working. Revising. We kept pitching. Rejections came.
And came. And came.
You’ll never reach it
Every step I’m takin’
Every move I make
Feels lost with no direction,
My faith is shakin’
But I, I gotta keep tryin’
Gotta keep my head held high
no matter how shaken I felt. No matter how discouraged, how frustrated, how
physically painful it was, I couldn’t deny this was what I was born to do. This
is part of who I am.
turned into twenty.
Authors. Unpublished writers. Industry professionals. They sowed into my life.
They taught me. They corrected me. Friendships were bonded. Some of my best
friends live states away and yet a day doesn’t go by that we don’t text or talk on
the phone. A prayer team, I call the Triple Ps formed. These women pray for me
with such intensity and passion, I can honestly feel it when I sit down to
patience, endurance, and perseverance mean. I’ve had years to hone my craft
(though I haven’t “arrived” I’m always growing and learning). I’ve had years to
discover areas where my pride is Nebuchadnezzar kind of scary. I’ve had years
to nail it to the cross. I do it daily. I’ve had years to learn how to fight fear
with the Truth of God’s word. To battle doubt and confusion.
obstacles and struggles. It’s a slow climb. It’s a lesson in waiting, in a
culture where we don’t have to wait for anything. It’s a stretch where I’ve
learned balance. Balancing being a wife, mom, ministry leader, friend,
daughter. I asked, “Why so long? When, Lord? I’m doing everything you’ve asked
me to do! How much longer? I’m hanging on but…”
been exhausted physically, emotionally, spiritually. Worn slap out and feeling
too tired to press on. Too tired to write something new. Too tired to revise what
I already have. Too tired for one more blog post. Too tired for one more
rejection. Too tired for one more person asking me when I was going to get published.
Too tired to roll my eyes when someone mentioned writing was easy. Just type up
a story and slap it on Amazon. Too tired to slap them for saying that. Too.
Too. Too. Tired. I’ve lost the fight.
never failed me. Never let me down. He presented amazing opportunities out of
the blue, right when I needed the encouragement. Every step of the way. He’s
been with me. For me. Beside me. He’s gone before me. And He’s pushed me from
behind…straight up the mountain. Not the mountain of publishing per se, but the
mountain of self-discovery. The mountain where I’m pruned. Grown. Matured.
be another mountain
I’m always gonna wanna make it move
Always gonna be an uphill battle
Sometimes I’m gonna have to lose
Ain’t about how fast I get there
Ain’t about what’s waitin’ on the other side
It’s the climb
mountain, God gave me a new vision. A new direction. One I hadn’t jumped on
before. But I obeyed. Because if I’ve learned anything in 7 years, it’s trust and
obey. I wrote one more book. And you know what? I had it in me to do. Because in my weakness, He is strong. And His grace is sufficient for me.
born. I sent the proposal to my agent on February 27th, 2014. On
March 19th, the editor requested the full manuscript.
my agent sent it to her.
for this line while waiting in 2014.
2014, the editor sent back a request for revisions. So I went to work. Again.
We sent those revisions back on November 3rd, 2014.
waited. I waited. I revised. I put out a free Christmas novella to subscribers.
I decided to create a series of novellas. I shopped for presents. I checked my
email like a freak of nature.
got THE CALL. My amazing, wonderful, encouraging agent sat on the other end of
the phone while I hit my knees sobbing. A week after that I had the chance to
talk with my editor from Harlequin Love Inspired Suspense. She’s super nice and
fun to talk to. And her revision requests were insightful and spot-on.
(tentative title) will hit shelves in early 2016. Yeah, another year of waiting
while I’m working. But I’ve learned waiting is worth it.
New challenges. More mountains to climb. To make move.
The chances I’m taking
Sometimes might knock me down, but
No I’m not breaking
I may not know it, but
These are the moments that
I’m gonna remember most, yeah
Just gotta keep goin’,
And I, I gotta be strong
Just keep pushing on, ’cause
make a mountain move. Take the steps. You move. And God will move the mountain.
Keep the faith baby
It’s all about, it’s all about the climb
Keep the faith, keep your faith…
dreaming. Never ever give up. Keep reaching. Keep climbing. Keep stepping.
Climb tired. Climb when it hurts. Climb when you feel rejected. Climb when you’re
discouraged. Climb when you can’t see. Climb through the tears. Climb when you
want to quit.
you’ll look back and see God’s fingerprints all over the journey.
about fast. It’s about faith.
who has stuck by me and encouraged me. It ain’t over yet! And listen to the song. You’ll be glad you did.
in the house and playing a few fun rounds of WYR with her characters. And she’s
giving away a copy of her newest release, Identity
say feel pain, because I wouldn’t want to miss out on feeling all the other
great emotions, too. Physically…not so sure.
worst pain I’ve ever known.
complex. Probably a lot of firefighters do.
has landed me in a heap of trouble, not that I’d choose differently if I had to
do it again.
harder on the emotions than reading 2 star book reviews! At least being
invisible, I can leave the room if I don’t like what someone’s saying about me,
or…I could spook him so badly that he’d think twice before he ever said a nasty
word about anyone ever again. 😀
would trust me with her secrets, I’m sure I could help her.
connected to organized crime, out to silence me, being invisible would come in
very handy. Although…reading minds would help me know who I can trust and who I
can’t. Then again, neither would have helped me escape my house being torched.
and gentleman! Sandra, tell us what’s on the horizon for your books? What are
you working on? When can we expect your next book?
out next year that I’m currently awaiting copy edits and line edits on,
respectively. Desperate Measures is the final book in my Port Aster Secrets
mystery series with Revell, releasing June 2015. Emergency Reunion is my next
Love Inspired Suspense. The heroine of that one, a paramedic, is the cousin of
the hero in my current release. The release date hasn’t been set yet.
writing the first novel in my next Revell series. The heroine is an FBI agent in
St. Louis. I had great fun last month touring her hometown and place of work. J
wait to read your new stuff. Thanks so much for being here. Sandra is
graciously giving away a copy of Identity Withheld. Enter below!
|Buy the Book!|
an entry, too.
much my favorite chore ever. If you’re washing/drying clothes you can listen to
the machines working while you read, which is awesome. And if you’re folding
clothes, you can watch your favorite TV show (mine happens to be Gilmore Girls)
and still be productive and not feel guilty!
clothes is easy. And I have no problem pulling clean clothes straight out of
the laundry basket to wear, so that’s no problem.
pick. Housework in general isn’t my thing.
this one. It’d be nice to see the future, unless I didn’t like parts of it and
then I think that would be hard. But I don’t have much about my past I’d care
I could go back and change. Things I wish I had said and done differently. But
I’m learning that God really is in control and the past isn’t worth changing—He
still works out our future.
future. Although that’s because I like to try to prepare for things and control
things, which you can’t always do…but I’m happy with my past for the most part,
so I’m going with see the future.
heights, so probably read minds. But I’d want it to be selective, since
sometimes you really don’t want to
know what other people are thinking. If there was an option to be able to swim
and breathe underwater without any kind of scuba equipment, I’d take that one
for sure. Swimming is a lot like flying…right?
guessing my answer is obvious here. I’ve wanted to fly as long as I can
much easier all of life would be if we could do this. And my job? It would save
me so much time questioning suspects…
one! I think emotional pain. I think sometimes I pretend like I’d rather pick
the other answer, but God made us people with passionate emotions and I think
I’d rather feel something than
nothing. That’s living, right?
where I felt intense sadness and times when I couldn’t feel anything even
though I felt like I should. Pain if I had to pick, but if I get a vote here,
I’d really like a few years of happiness.
nothing at all. (I can just hear Will
laughing in the background now. He knows how well I demonstrate my emotions.
I love your answers. And I think you’re right, Sarah. Pain is a part of living
for sure. Now, tell us what inspired this incredible story!
of my stories seem to start differently. For Tundra Threat, I wanted to write about an Alaska Wildlife Trooper
and I could just picture the character who would become McKenna, doing her job
and kicking at the snow when she got upset (she’s always had a temper!). The
scene I originally “saw” her in got deleted, but that’s where her character
started. From there I wanted to find someone it didn’t seem logical for her to
fall in love with, so I called my dad and he said “how about a hunting guide?”
and it was the perfect (well, imperfect) match. From there everything else
developed out of the characters.
start with a scene too and it’s never an opening one. Ha! Thanks so much for
being here, Sarah! It’s been the coolest. And because YOU guys have stopped by,
you have the chance to enter below and receive Sarah’s book! There are all
sorts of ways to win.
|Buy the book!|
last thing wildlife trooper McKenna Clark expected to find in the stark Alaskan
wilderness. As the only law enforcement in the area, the responsibility for the
case rests on her shoulders—along with the danger. Hunting guide and pilot Will
Harrison wants to ease the load, but McKenna balks at the thought of letting
him close enough to break her heart again. When McKenna’s investigations put
her in harm’s way, Will must race against the clock to save his second chance
at love from becoming the killer’s final victim.
today! I just finished her latest Love Inspired Suspense, Out for Justice and I
really enjoyed it. Plenty of danger, mystery, and romantic tension. All of my favorite
things on one book! Carol and her characters from Out for Justice are playing a
few rounds of Would You Rather? and Carol is sharing her inspiration for
writing the novel. Thanks for being, Carol!
able to talk with all animals OR be able to speak all foreign languages?
I’d probably go with being able to speak all foreign languages. Talking with
animals would be cool—when my dachshund doesn’t feel well, I’d love to look
into those big brown eyes and know what she’s trying to tell me. But living in
central Florida, we have quite a few people who don’t speak English. Many are
trying to learn, but as an adult, it’s hard (I know—I studied French in college.)
I would love to be able to speak with anyone, regardless of language. Once
while flying, I was seated next to a lady from Germany. After trying English,
then French, I had to give up. (No Sprechen Sie Deutsch!)
to talk with all animals. I’m a major animal lover. I can never turn away an
animal that needs a home. That’s how I wound up with three cats. I often wonder
where they were and what they went through before they came to me.
to speak all foreign languages (although knowing what Lexi’s cats are thinking
when they’re sizing me up might be nice). As a police officer, I meet a lot of
people, and sometimes language can be a barrier. I have a heart for troubled
youth and always try to steer them onto the right path; fortunately they
usually know English, even if their parents don’t.
long film of all the best moments of your life thus far OR watch a short clip
of a pivotal moment in your future?
pivotal moment was bad and there was something I could do to prevent it, I
would choose the short clip of a pivotal moment. Other than that, when it comes
to the future, I’m more like, “Surprise me.” Watching a long film of the best
moments of my life would be fun. It’s like pulling out all the photo albums. Or
in my case, the boxes of pictures—I have way too many that never made it into
photo albums. Some day…
or bad. I’ve had some traumatic experiences in my life, so I want to live in
the present and take each day as it comes. I do have some good memories,
though, so watching a long film of the best moments of my life is very
moment. There have been a couple of times where I’ve made some decisions that I
really came to regret. Knowing what was coming might prepared me and given me a
chance to think things through more clearly. Although since I started asking
God for guidance, I have to say I’ve done a little better in the
your vision OR zoom in your hearing?
long as I could zoom it back out again. I’m a really light sleeper, and if I
had to have amplified hearing all the time, I’d never get any sleep! But I
think it would be fun to be able to pick out conversations in a crowd. Not that
I’m nosy or anything!
to be able to zoom in my vision. When I arrive at a crime scene, I know the CSI
guys are going to process everything, but zooming in my vision might help me
spot things that others might miss.
got a few teens around town who are always looking for trouble. When they’re
standing with their heads together, voices low, I’d love to be able to
eavesdrop on those conversations. But I am pretty good at sizing them up
and knowing when they’re up to no good, even without hearing what they’re
privacy OR be completely closed off?
I love people, but being constantly around them is emotionally draining. If it
was for a short period of time, I would choose being completely closed off. If
it was for longer, or indefinitely, I would have to choose having no privacy. I
couldn’t handle being completely closed off for long.
cherish my time alone, especially after I’ve spent several hours with my mom! I
don’t know that I would want to be completely closed off, but NO privacy? Ugh!
So I’ll choose completely closed off. Just don’t close me off from my cats! (Or
the people closest to me.)
not a major extrovert, but I am a people person. I’m also pretty open. I don’t
have many secrets.
would choose to talk to animals. J Thanks for playing! Now, tell us what
inspired this story.
for Out for Justice –
“inspired” me, as far as this story. But this book was the turning point as far
as how I plot. It was Christmastime, and I was visiting my sister in North
Carolina. She had some work to do and asked if I wanted to keep her company in
the hobby room. I told her I was starting a new book and asked if she wanted to
help me plot while she worked. All I knew at that point was that I wanted to
have a serial killer in the story. I typed like a madwoman while we bounced
ideas back and forth, and 2½ hours later, we had a great outline with lots of
narrative that eventually became Out for Justice. I haven’t plotted a
book by myself since.
the time and my books are so much better for it! Can’t wait for the next book
to come out, Carol!
|Buy the book!|
personal for Detective Lexi Simmons when her cousin becomes a victim. It turns
nearly impossible when she’s teamed up with Officer Alan White—the
almost-fiancé whose heart she broke six years ago. Alan can’t understand how
two people so right for each other didn’t end up together. But they have more
pressing matters of the past to attend to: a vengeful killer and a decade-old
incident on a college campus. Now Lexi fits the profile of the next name on the
hit list. And Alan finds himself not only engaged in a fight for her love—but
for her life.