Monday, October 7, 2013

Interview with Sarah Ballance, Author of Her Wicked Sin (Sins of Salem Novels)

Welcome, Sarah! Tell us about Her Wicked Sin.
I’m thrilled to be here. Thank you so much for your hospitality. J

Her Wicked Sin is set in Salem, MA 1692 during the Salem witch trials. The story kicks off when my heroine comes upon the hero fallen from his horse. She has enough sense to be wary of a stranger, but since he’s hurt she figures she’s got the upper hand if he tries anything. With that in mind, she takes him back to her nearby home to convalescence for the night. When she and the hero are subsequently caught in a compromising—albeit innocent—position, he takes a false identity, acting as her husband to protect her from accusations of adultery, the punishment for which was often death. What starts as a fake relationship leads to real feelings, but when the heroine is arrested for witchcraft, he’s got a terrible choice to make. Fighting for her freedom means revealing his true identity at a time when any association with a witch could lead to his own arrest, to say nothing of the ruin it would bring to his family and his business. Walking away means saving himself and his reputation—and possibly her life—but at an unbearable cost.

What inspired you to set your historical romance during the Salem Witch Trials?
The Entangled Scandalous submission page. I went there looking for the guidelines to share with a friend and saw mention of Salem. So I told my editor, “ERMAGERD…I LOVE SALEM! I SHOULD WRITE A SALEM HISTORICAL!” And she clearly didn’t think that as ridiculous as I did, because she checked with Scandalous and not only did they want Salem, but they wanted it ASAP. So after I (a) rolled around on the floor laughing hysterically and (b) curled up in the corner and sobbed, I wrote the proposal and submitted it. And the rest is history.

What kind of research went into the writing of your historical?
I’ve always been fascinated by the Salem witch trials (and many other dark events of history) so I went in with the familiarity I gained watching the History Channel. I also read two nonfiction books on the witch trials and thereafter did a quick internet search when I needed to learn or verify something, but I’d say by far the most research I did was at I shudder to think how many words I looked up to ensure they were in use in 1692, but there were a LOT.

Is this a stand-alone or do you plan further Sins of Salem novels?
There are two more Salem books contracted and due out in 2014. Her Wicked Sin is set early, when the accusations are just beginning. The second book takes place at the height of the hysteria, while the third happens after the people who pushed for the arrests and hangings begin to see the horrible mistake they’ve made. Each story isn’t about the witch trials so much as it tells of characters whose decisions—and ultimately, their lives—were affected by these terrible events.

What are a few of your favorite historical romances?
Honestly, I’ve read very few. Less than five. That’s what shocked me so much about my contract for “Salem” (my nickname for this story)—I am so far out of my league on this! I’d never really read historical and certainly hadn’t written one. LOL. But of the very few I’ve read, I have to say one knocked my socks off—Raeliksen by Renee Vincent was absolutely incredible.

What's a typical writing day like for you?
I’m a homeschooling mom of six (ages 15, 13, 10, 7, 6, and 3) so my days are pretty much organized chaos (and sometimes not so organized). When I’m on track with my deadlines, my writing happens after dinner. I go hide and write, and my husband keeps the house from falling down. When I’m behind on my word count, I take two or three 30 minute breaks throughout the day and write as much as I can, then just edit in the evening.

Do you have any pets?
Um, we have a pig. She’s about 500 pounds and so enormous she scares the bejeezus out of pretty much everyone who sees her, but she’s just a very, VERY large puppy. She loves having her ears scratched, headbutts out of affection, and she bounces up and down when she’s happy. We also have my mom’s (outdoor) cat, but for now, that’s it. In the past we’ve had rabbits, horses, chickens, and goats—plus the requisite cats and dogs—but all have been outdoor critters.

What's one thing your readers might be surprised to learn about you?
This has probably gotten around by now, but it seems to be a reader favorite so I’ll spill: my husband and I have six kids—five on purpose, and the sixth born AFTER I was surgically sterilized. Yep, tubes cut, sections removed, ends knotted and burned. Now when people look at me with my brood and say something clever like “Don’t you know how that happens?” I can honestly say no, no I don’t. ;)

What are you working on now?
I’m finishing up the second book in the Salem series, which is due this month, and also working on a contemporary romance due in November for Entangled’s Indulgence line. After that, I’m headed back to Salem for book number three.

Thank you so, so much for having me today! If you’d like to check out HER WICKED SIN, you’ll find a smexy excerpt at Entangled and buy links @ Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | iTunes | Goodreads. And if you like haunted asylums, my supernatural novella RUBY HILL is now available from Entangled Publishing for just 99 cents. Go scare yourself up a copy!

Salem, MA 1692
On a moonless night, he rides into the winter forest on his beast as black as midnight...

Dashing stranger, Henry Dunham, comes to Salem on a mysterious errand, but is thrown from his horse in the dead of night and rescued by the local Puritan midwife, Lydia Colson.

Haunted by her past, Lydia is running from her own dark secrets, avoiding intrusive questions by pretending her dead husband is simply... away. But when she and Henry are caught in a compromising situation, one punishable by Puritan law, he saves her from scandal by claiming to be her errant spouse... and claiming her bed.

Forced to fake a marriage, Lydia and Henry find their passion overwhelming and their vows a little too real. As their lies become truths, a witch hunt closes in on Lydia, threatening not only their burgeoning love, but her life.

Amazon Buy Link:

About the Author:
Sarah and her husband of what he calls "many long, long years" live on the mid-Atlantic coast with their six young children, all of whom are perfectly adorable when they’re asleep.

She never dreamed of becoming an author, but as a homeschooling mom, she often jokes she writes fiction because if she wants anyone to listen to her, she has to make them up. (As it turns out, her characters aren’t much better than the kids).

When not buried under piles of laundry, she may be found adrift in the Atlantic (preferably on a boat) or seeking that ever-elusive perfect writing spot where not even the kids can find her.

She loves creating unforgettable stories while putting her characters through an unkind amount of torture—a hobby that has nothing to do with living with six children. (Really.) Though she adores nail-biting mystery and edge-of-your-seat thrillers, Sarah writes in many genres including contemporary and ghostly paranormal romance.

Her ever-growing roster of releases may be found on :


Kobo Books:" Kobo ,

For the Muse Publishing:

Entangled Publishing:



Facebook :


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Acemommy said...

Just added this one to my TBR list!

Unknown said...

Bless you. I home-schooled for 2 1/2 years. But only 2 kids.
Love the idea that you write in hopes of someone listening!

Stormy Vixen said...

Sounds like a wicked read. Thanks for sharing the great interview and the giveaway. evamillien at gmail dot com

Unknown said...

Hah, your pig sounds delightful! Thanks for the honest review and sharing your research process! And thank you for the giveaway!

hotcha12 said...


Anonymous said...

Thanks so very much!

Anonymous said...

LOL! Homeschooling is the best. They absolutely drive me nuts many days, but I wouldn't trade the time with them for anything. (Not that I don't dive for my writing cave every day after dinner, mind you. LOL.) Thanks for commenting!

Cathy Keisha said...

Thanks for coming to visit me. Do you like fantasy books? My Aunt Pauline has authored many books which are now being reissued as e-books.

Anonymous said...

Aw, thanks, Eva!

Anonymous said...

My mom had to feed the pig while we were out of town. She said the noises she made from her stall sounded like something out of a horror movie. I totally LOL...that would be SO creepy in a dark barn before the sun comes up, LOL! Thanks for the comment, Ari!

Anonymous said...

My pleasure. Good luck!

Anonymous said...

I haven't read much fantasy, Cathy. These days I don't read much at all, aside my kids' school books, LOL. Congrats to your aunt!

Karen C said...

Sarah, I can so see you laughing and rolling on the floor and then sobbing! I'm impressed with the amount of research you did - it definintely showed in the book. And, I'm so glad there's going to be more books - can't wait.

Anonymous said...

LOL. I bet I would. Totally! I'm already excited about book two. I hope you like it as much as you did the first. :)