Welcome to my stop on the Combating Fear blog tour and a happy publication day to Sandy! I have a fabulous guest post from the author AND a giveaway for your chance to win a copy of the book.
How far would you go to save a child that wasn’t yours?
Mild-mannered kindergarten teacher, Neve Botticelli, leads a double life. At home with her paranoid father, she is a combat trained survivalist who lives off-the-grid.
When self-made billionaire, Micah Kincaid, storms into town in search of his four-year-old son, Rowan, he’s pushy, entitled, and stands for everything Neve despises.
But something far more sinister than a cheating estranged wife, is lurking in rural Turners Gully, and it has its sights set on little Rowan’s inheritance. It turns out there is one thing Micah and Neve can agree on, and that’s keeping Rowan safe.
As they work together to free Rowan, they glimpse beneath one another’s guises, and realise that falling in love could be even more dangerous than hunting deadly criminals.
Hi, I’m Sandy Vaile, a motorbike-riding daredevil who isn’t content with a story unless there’s a courageous heroine and a dead body. When I’m not devising horrible things to do to fictional characters, I write procedures for high-risk industrial activities, mentor new writers through the Novelist’s Circle critiquing group, judge romance writing competitions, present literary craft workshops, and write the odd articles and blog.
I’ve been looking forward to dropping by for a chat with Amy, and to give you some insight into how I came to be here.
I imagine you can all relate to being side-tracked from your dreams by everyday life. Well, that’s exactly what happened to me. All through high school the plan was to become a journalist, but I moved out of home when I was 16 y.o., and then work, marriage and children all happened to divert me from writing. For more than a decade child-rearing magazines were the extent of my reading, and correspondence with pen pals the extent of my writing.
I was middle-aged when a friend insisted I read the Harry Potter series. I so loved the complex plot and diverse characters, that my inner creative being was awakened. The smouldering tinder only ignited further with each book I read, until I was desperate to write again.
Now, you many have guessed I’m not one to do things by half, so I didn’t bother starting with short stories or diary entries. No, I decided I was going to write a whole novel! Nothing to it, right?
So, I drew on my life experiences to come up with a few characters that stirred my curiosity, and formed the idea of a conflict. I wrote 60,000 words in the first six weeks. Now that’s enthusiasm! Unfortunately, the family eventually wanted to be fed and have clean clothes to wear, so I had to slow up a teeny bit.
It didn’t deter my focus though, because I’d already figured out one vital thing. The most important difference between a published and unpublished author is that one actually finished the book. So that was my first goal.
That first book represented a huge learning curve for me, because I’d left pesky little things like grammar and literary devices behind in high school, and had to learn them all over again. But learn them I did, and finish that book in nine months I did. It took another year before I felt it was polished enough to submit to publishers. Unfortunately, that manuscript remains in the figurative bottom drawer.
Now, this is the part of my journey where I learnt to embrace rejection, because there was a lot of it, but thankfully I was also tossed a few scraps of positive feedback along the way, and that’s all it took to keep me motivated.
When I saw an advertisement by Crimson Romance (a subsidiary of Simon & Schuster) for stories with gritty heroines who break stereotypes, I knew I had what they were looking for. And that’s how my first book, “Inheriting Fear” got picked up and sent into the wide world.
Now you are helping me celebrate the release of my second romantic suspense book, “Combatting Fear”, and I have to pinch myself now and again, just to make sure this high is real. (Ouch! Okay, it is.)
I’d love to hear about your literary challenges and loves.
Leave a comment on this blog and get 1 entry to win the “Combatting Fear” eBook. Subscribe to my newsletter and get 3 more entries.
About the Author:
To that end, I take every opportunity that presents and have a wealth of life experiences to draw on when writing.
These include riding a motorbike, skydiving, hot air ballooning, getting tattoos, swimming with sharks and turtles, and having the privilege to carry the Olympic flame.
The common denominator in my stories is courageous, gritty heroines who don’t especially need the strong heroes who sweep them off their feet, but when they do find Mr. Right, they’re not afraid to hold on tight.
My love of adventure and action sports started early, with 3-day eventing horses and cross-country running. Living in Papua New Guinea as a child meant lots of water sports, outdoor living and learning the local Pigeon English.
Connect with Sandy:
Check out the other stops on the tour