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Monday, October 7, 2013

Guest Post with Author Sarah Ballance and Giveaway

Meet Sarah Ballance, author of Her Wicked Sin.

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 Amazon , Barnes & Noble, Kobo, For the Muse Publishing, and ENTANGLED PUBLISHING.

Places to find: 
| Site | Facebook | Twitter


3 Shocking Facts about Puritans

I didn’t set out to write a romance starring Puritans—as far as I knew they HAD no romance, LOL—but I so, so wanted to write the Salem witch trials and, well, it’s a package deal. When I first started my research I had no clue how I’d ever make a romance out of what I’d always heard was a stodgy, chaste group of people, but boy was I wrong. Are you guys ready for this? These three tidbits are jaw-dropping!

They SO had Sex before Marriage

Depending on who you ask, 20-40% of Puritan brides were pregnant on the big day. I barely believed they had sex at all, but premarital sex just blew me away. And considering the chance of conception is only about 25% on a woman’s most fertile days, they must have really been going at it to conceive at such a rate. (INORITE?!)

Scandalous Affairs

Adultery was punishable by death, and fornication by a public whipping. (If you’d like to know the difference, it, too, comes down to sex: the women were most often accused of adultery and the men fornication…for the same crime.) Yet despite the fallout, many Puritans still carried on like fiends. I go into more detail here, but suffice to say not only did they have extra-marital affairs with one another, but there were a number of goodwives out gallivanting with the natives. Still others turned to the barnyard for, erm, relief, while at least one ambitious group got together for an orgy. A Puritan orgy. O.o

Easy-Peasy Divorce

Well, not EASY-easy, but for such stringently religious folks I really thought “married” would mean “married for life.” Turns out, not so much. Divorce was allowed for a number of reasons, including—get this—an unsatisfactory sex life. The religion insisted the marital bed be one of frequent bliss, but the marriage itself wasn’t a religious ceremony—rather, it was a civil contract. And when it came to dissolution, it wasn’t that they weren’t expected to take it seriously, but those stuck with a partner who didn’t deliver had the option of reprieve.

Needless to say, I have a brand new perspective after those discoveries. What do you think? Did you find any of this surprising?

Thank y’all so much for hanging out with me today! If you’d like to check out HER WICKED SIN, you’ll find a smexy excerpt at Entangled. 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!

PS: I'm probably hiking with grizzly bears as you read this, so bear (ha!) with me if I don't respond immediately to your comments. I do look forward to your replies--and I have been promised nightly wifi--so if I'm not mauled, eaten, or otherwise incapacitated, I will SO come back for you!



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.

Purchase: | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | iTunes |

Check out what's up for grabs.

Up For Grabs:
  • 1 $50 Amazon Gift Card

To Enter: 
  • Please leave a comment or question for Sarah.
  • Please fill out the Rafflecopter form.

Good Luck! 

Special thanks to Sarah Ballance & Bewitching Book Tours for sponsoring this tour-wide giveaway.
a Rafflecopter giveaway



19 comments :

  1. This is definitely different than what I normally read but you've really caught my attention! I cant wait to read this!

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    1. I'm so thrilled, Karen. Thank you, and I hope you'll check it out!

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  2. Put this on my wish list! Sounds like such a great read!

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    1. Thank you, Kathy. I'm honored!

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  3. Although this is a little different from what I normally read, I am intrigued by the book blurb.
    Sarah, if you ever find the key to a peaceful household, let me know. I don't know how you do it with 6 kids (I've got only 4 and they drive me insane). Have an awesome day!

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    1. I tried to reply to this earlier and somethin' ate it, so forgive me if this ends up some kind of duplicate. That said, the key to peace is finding a REALLY, REALLY GREAT hiding spot. Snort. Seriously, I'm glad you found the blurb intriguing, Sandra, and I hope you'll consider checking out the book. Thanks so much!

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  4. Love the blurb and cover! Thanks for the great giveaway chance!

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    1. Thanks, Marcy, and good luck!

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  5. Thanks for sharing Her Wicked Sin and the giveaway. Sounds like a great book. Congrats on the completion of the tour. evamillien at gmail dot com

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    1. We made it, didn't we? Thanks for following so loyally! :)

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  6. Yes, definitely these insights give me a whole new viewpoint on the Puritans! Thanks for sharing the well-researched facts and offering the giveaway!
    falses1gns(at)gmail(dot)com

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    1. INORITE? LOL! Thank you for following the tour, Ari!

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  7. Never expected that those facts about the Puritans; wow!

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    1. I'm with you. Totally blew my mind, lol!

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  8. Sounds interesting, I'm heading over to Entangled to read more. :-) I did know about the lack of what we consider Puritan values, but I'm a history geek so no surprise/.

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    1. Thank you, Glenda! I have to admit, I worried no one would believe me. This comes up in even more in book 2, and I really hope readers don't start yelling "fraud!" LOL!

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  9. Oh my Gosh!! Those tidbits were quite a surprise to me! Definitely not what I expect when I hear the term Puritan. :) Thanks for sharing. Congratulations, once again, on the release of Her Wicked Sin - it's such a great story.

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