Welcome to my little corner of the gay erotic romance universe . . . well, half of it, anyway. (You can find the other half at RachelHaimowitz.com.) This is the place to come for sneak previews of new projects, release information, and the occasional M/M book review. I'll also share thoughts on the industry on occasion, and I hope you'll come share yours in return.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Running to Sarah Ballance, and Happy Birthday Aleksandr Voinov!

Happy Wednesday, folks! I'm still bouncebouncebouncing like crazy over my hot new cover art for Where He Belongs (and the fact that I sold it, yay!) and the appearance of Anchored in paperback, and on top of everything else, it's my dear friend Aleksandr Voinov's birthday today, so it's been a damn great week. I didn't know Aleks on his last birthday, but now, quite frankly, it's hard to imagine life without him. I'm a better, more disciplined, more motivated writer for having him in my life, and he brings me more joy than I often know what to do with. Nearly every day we share laughter, frustrations, and writing. Heck, we're even sharing a story universe now. So, happy birthday, my dear, and may it be full of all the pleasures and surprises that make life so worth living.

In other fun news, the delightful author Sarah Ballance is here today as part of the All Things Romantic Suspense tour. And she brought her hot hot Run To You cover model with her. So, you know the routine by now. Blurb and cover, coming up.

Mattie James can't pinpoint exactly when she lost control of her life, but the moment she decided to take it back made the front page of the local paper. Desperate to dodge the fallout— and the tabloids—she jumps at the chance to spend an off-season week in a tiny resort community by the sea. Making the trip with her ex-lover is a complication she can live with; coming face to face with a dead woman is not.

The last thing Sheriff Wyatt Reed expected to find on the storm-ravaged beach was a beautiful blonde with a jealous sidekick, but one look at Mattie left him wanting more. Their first date takes an ominous turn when he gets the call that a woman was found murdered. With a killer on the loose and a troubling lack of suspects or motive, Wyatt has to put his feelings aside to focus on the case. But his vow not to become personally involved is shattered when he discovers Mattie's life is on the line, and this time the truth leaves her with a deadly choice . . . and nowhere to run.

Sound interesting? Run to You is available from Noble Romance Press and Amazon.com.

Speaking of interesting, Sarah talks about her boobs and backyard-streaking beneath the jump ;-)

What draws you to romance?

My real life romance is amazing. I feel the butterflies, tingles, and excitement of falling in love every day of my life, and my husband of almost 14 years still looks at me like he can't believe I'm his.  Those feelings just beg to be put on the page.

Do you prefer alpha/omega relationships in stories, or alpha/alpha relationships, and why?

My characters are flawed, and they ultimately belong together.  That's the only category I write, LOL.  Even inside a story, those dynamics can change.  I prefer my characters be true to themselves rather than a label.

Have you ever written outside the romance genre? If not, do you ever plan to?

My genre of preference is romantic suspense.  Although I'm still wading deeper into the genre and learning to strengthen those suspense aspects, I think all of my stories will have that romantic element.  The danger and the romance compliment one another in ways that are nothing short of delicious!

What’s the sexiest feature on a man to you? And on a woman? Why?

For a man, I've got to go with his hands.  My guy has rough hands and I love the feel of them on my skin – talk about INTENSE!  As for a woman, I'd say her curves are sexy.  Regardless of proportion, feminine curves embody the spirit of sexuality.

What’s your own sexiest feature?

Umm … I guess it depends on what you find sexy.  I have long, wavy beach hair which is sexy to some people, but I think one of the first things most guys notice would be the girls – I'm an all natural D-cup-spillith-over.

By night you’re a caped cru— er, romance writer. What do you do by day?

I'm a full time author and don't have a "real job" outside of raising and homeschooling my six kids … and the house, cooking, cleaning, shopping, errands … um, yeah.  That.

What’s your earliest childhood memory?

When I was 18 months old, I took off all of my clothes and ran around the yard naked (um, regularly).  One time I ended up on the roof.  My grandfather was working up there, and I found the ladder.

What was the very first romance you ever read? How old were you? Were you being naughty and sneaking it off the shelf before you really even knew what sex was? How did it make you feel, and is that what hooked you on the genre?

From the age of 12 or so, my mom would let me get a Harlequin at the grocery store during our weekly shopping trip.  (Not her idea, but she allowed it).  I enjoyed them, but what I really loved was Nancy Drew and that love of suspense lives on.  I do remember thinking, however, that there wasn't enough romance in those stories!  LOL.  As an adult, over a decade passed where I read nothing but children's books to my babies.  A couple of years ago I picked up another romance – a Harlequin Blaze – but what really changed me was the first Harlequin Intrigue (romantic suspense) I read.  It was a bolt-of-lightening realization that yes, this is what I want to write.

Who are your latest crushes (celebrity, book character, or otherwise)? Do you ever keep those people in your mind when writing your own works?

The hero in my WIP is usually my favorite character, although I think Hutch from RUN TO YOU wins as my all-time fave.  My heroes usually have a trait or two I nabbed from my husband, which makes it really easy for me to love them.

If you could pick anyone in the world to be the cover model(s) on your latest release, who would it be?

Gosh, I have no idea!  Fiona Jayde has done both of my covers and has truly spoiled me with her talent – as long as the cover fits or is true to the story, I'm thrilled.

What’s your favorite hobby outside of writing?

I love stuff I can do with the kids:  badminton, puzzles, hiking, playing the beach, and OMG-yes boating.

What would constitute your own personal happily ever after?

I'm living it.  I've been with my husband since I was 18 (married at 19) and no matter what else has happened, he's been there—sexy, adoring, and supportive of me in every way.  I still can't believe I get to spend my life with him, and together we've created an amazing family.

Do you own an ereader? Why or why not? If so, what’s on it?

No, I don't.  I just haven't spent the money.

Are you a book hoarder?

I used to be, but I'm simplifying.  There are only a handful of books I refuse to part with, and these include autographed copies of anything and print books from authors I count as friends.

What’s the one question you wish people would ask you when you tell them you’re a writer? How would you answer it?

I'm still new here and I'm in a daze!  I don't know if there's anything I haven't been asked.  I do love it when readers are excited and asking when another book will release.  I think having someone want more makes for a spectacular compliment!

If you were doomed to spend the rest of your life on an island with only one book, one person, one food (coconuts and fish aside), and one object from the modern world (computer, deodorant, vibrator, etc.), what would they be?

The book would have to be a long one, LOL.  At this point, I'd pick Renee Vincent's Raeliksen because I haven't stopped thinking about it for a single DAY since I finished it.  If I would ever get back to civilization so I could write, I'd take one of Rosalie Stanton's books so I could channel her writing style.  As for who I'd take, that's the only easy part of this question, LOL – my hubby, hands down!  I don't eat fish so I'd be in big trouble there … I guess I'll go with bread, because it's about the only thing I never get tired of.    And for an object, now that you've mentioned deodorant, I've got to say that sounds like a REALLY good idea.  Otherwise, can I have my boat?  LOL. [Editor's note: No :-p]

Do you have a favorite character out of all the ones you’ve written? If so, who is it and why is s/he your favorite? 

Hutch from RUN TO YOU.  He's a bit of a pig when it comes to women so I don't think he'd make good relationship material, but he's funny and does have a sweet side – he'd be a great friend!

Where are your favorite online hangouts? What are your daily must-stop blogs and websites? 

Most days, I just try to keep up with everyone who messages me, LOL.  I hit my blog and Facebook every day, Twitter every other day at least, and have an exploding inbox.  (By the way, the amount of support and love I've gotten through e-mail is AMAZING.  I'm beyond flattered – thank you all so much!)  In terms of other authors or blogs, I click links from Twitter and Facebook when I see them or respond to direct invitations.  I'd love to be more organized in my virtual travels, but if anything, things just seem to get crazier with time (= blessing!).

Speaking of online hangouts, where are yours? Where can your readers find you?

When I'm not cowering in the corner hiding from the kids so I can write, I'll probably in one of these places:

Website:  http://www.sarahballance.com/
Blog:  http://sarahballance.wordpress.com/
Twitter:  http://twitter.com/#!/SarahBallance
Facebook friend:  http://www.facebook.com/sarahballanceauthor#!/
Facebook fan:  http://www.facebook.com/pages/Sarah-Ballance-author/125956520788499
Goodreads:  http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4103362.Sarah_Ballance

What’s your current book list and where can we buy them?

RUN TO YOU | romantic suspense
DOWN IN FLAMES | contemporary romance

Noble Romance (PDF, EPUB, HTML, MobiPocket, Microsoft Reader):  http://www.nobleromance.com/BrowseListing.aspx?author=97
Amazon Kindle:  http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B003WKYEJI

Anything else you’d like to add? 

Thanks so much for having me here.  I really appreciate the opportunity to get to meet a few of your fans—hopefully I won't run anyone off, LOL.

* * * * *

Oh Sarah honey, anyone I haven't scared away will definitely find you sweet and fun :D Thanks so much for joining us at Fantasy Unbound today!

About Sarah

Sarah and her husband of almost fourteen years live on the mid-Atlantic coast with their six young children, all of whom are perfectly adorable when they're asleep.  She often jokes that she writes to be around people who will listen to her, but her characters aren't much better than her kids.  Fortunately, her husband is quite supportive, having generously offered to help her research "the good parts."  She's never had to ask twice.


  1. Wow, it almost feels like MY birthday! Thanks for having me. Love a good party!

  2. I love you, too, Rachel. Still not going to live in your basement (at least until the quality and speed of the internet connection are contractually agreed. :) )


  3. Great interview guys! *whispers* I think I'm stealing some of those questions Rachel. Just sayin ;)

    Nice birthday gift too. Vera.

  4. @Sarah: It was a pleasure to have you--you're always good fun :D

    @Aleks: ZOMG I AM, I AM! (And it's 50mbs cable. I'll even make your chains long enough for you to type.)

    @Amara: LOL go right ahead, honey.

  5. @Aleksandr - Hope your birthday was fantastic!

    @Amara - Thank you for saying hello. ;c)

    @Rachel - Thanks for having me. You're awesome!


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