I am so thrilled to have a fellow Astraea Press author, Sarah Ballance, here today! Her novella, Hawthorne, has been getting tons of buzz, and it's a gothic romance. How cool is that? Just comment about why you like gothic romance or that you'd like to win below by Sept. 30th at 12 p.m. So, without further ado, here's Sarah...
Support Disaster Relief with HAWTHORNE
Hi, Lisa! Thanks so much for this opportunity to get out the word about HAWTHORNE. It's been called everything from a paranormal romance to Southern gothic, but the bottom line is it's only $1, and 100% of those proceeds will be forwarded directly from the publisher to benefit Japan earthquake relief. I hope you will all join me in supporting the tens of thousands of people who are still suffering from the disaster which occurred on March 11, 2011. Unfortunately, the story has faded from the news, but some horrible truths remain. An August 11 update from Red Cross Japan reveals the following sober statistics:
- As of July 14, 35,643 persons disaster refugees remain in evacuation centers and other temporary housing within the three worst affected prefectures (Fukushima, Miyagi, and Iwate). 4,757 people are still missing.
- An astounding 142,109 survivors have applied for unemployment benefits as of July 29 in the three most affected prefectures alone.
- 51,000 families still live in pre-fabricated houses, most having lost their homes and everything in them. Thousands others remain in shelters.
My Personal Challenge
I'd never written a short story before, so this was scary territory for me. I struggled a bit with coming up with a plot that was enough to keep readers' interest without being too much for novella territory. It was actually my husband who came up with the idea to make it a ghost story, and I think those were the most brilliant words to ever leave his mouth. (Well, second to asking me to marry him, LOL.) With his suggestion, the last scene of HAWTHORNE hit me like the proverbial ton of bricks. I wrote that scene first, and I was so excited to get to the end to tie things together that the rest of the words just flew.
And wow, what a response! If you'd like to see what readers are saying, take a look at HAWTHORNE's GoodReads page: http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/12035577-hawthorne I'm likely a new-to-you author (because I'm new in general, LOL) but for a $1 donation to earthquake relief, I hope some of you are willing to give me a chance. If you do, and you enjoy the story, please tell a friend! (And if you hate it, you can always recommended HAWTHORNE to your frenemies, LOL).
**GIVEAWAY** It's my honor to give away a PDF copy of HAWTHORNE to an interested reader, but before I do so I'd like for everyone to know the winning copy will be paid for so the charity will receive the full donation. Thanks so much for having me here, and I hope you'll consider lending your support to this wonderful cause.
About the author: Sarah lives a charmed life as the mother of six incredible homeschooled children, all of whom are completely adorable when they're asleep. Her husband of many years (long, long years, he calls them) is the kind of guy who could teach those heroes from the books a thing or two about romance, not that he'd readily admit it. Completely supportive of her love for writing fiction, he's generously offered to help with any necessary research for "the good parts." She's never had to ask twice.
(Links to embed): Web http://www.sarahballance.com/ | blog http://sarahballance.wordpress.com/ |buy link http://www.astraeapress.com/#ecwid:category=1011841&mode=product&product=4810595
After a terrifying encounter with the unexplained, it took ten years and the news of her grandmother’s passing for Emma Grace Hawthorne to return to her childhood home. She sought peace in saying a proper goodbye, but what she found was an old love, a sordid family history, and a wrong only she could right.
Living in the shadow of Hawthorne Manor, Noah Garrett never forgot about Emma Grace. In a house full of secrets, his search for missing documents revealed a truth that could cost him everything. What he found gave Emma the freedom to walk away from the mansion, her heart free and clear, but at what price to Noah?
Source: RED CROSS JAPAN http://www.jrc.or.jp/vcms_lf/kokusai_100811Rev2.pdf