Monday, July 16, 2012

Author Spotlight: Sarah Eden Part 1

All readers have authors who they love.  When those authors have a new book coming out, it is immediately purchased sight unseen.  For me, one of those authors is Sarah M. Eden.  My next couple posts will be highlighting her books and maybe even include an interview and giveaway. Today I'll highlight two books and share Sarah's biography.

BIOGRAPHY (from Sarah's website):

At the ripe-old age of five, I wrote my first book. Entitled “The Sun,” this work of literary genius contained such awe-inspiring passages as, “The sun is yellow.” It was a ground-breaking success among the Kindergarten of Roadrunner Elementary. On the heals of this success, I went on to write absolutely nothing for many, many years.

One sweltering summer, my mother, in what can now be easily identified as a desperate ploy to keep her five children occupied for a few hours during the never-ending summer break, implemented a summer writing challenge. That summer's efforts produced the first ten pages of “The Mystery of the Broken Unicorn”--my first experience with a plot idea that simply didn't work.

Several years after earning a bachelors degree in social science research, marrying my wonderful, if rather tall, husband and the birth of our second child, I took up my pen once more. Mercifully, I did not revisit the unicorn story but ventured into the world of Historical Romance.

A true romantic at heart, though I forcefully deny the charge, I harbor a true weakness for the Regency era in English history. Between world war on a scale unheard of until that time, the political upheaval at home, a changing economy, the rise of industrialism and the burgeoning belief in the importance of romantic love, the early 19th Century has a little of everything.

My first novel, The Ramshackle Knight, was published in May of 2007 and met with rave reviews from my mother and closest relatives. Spurred on by the unbiased acclaim, I wrote eight more Regency romances before being picked up by Covenant Communications.

Courting Miss Lancaster was released in 2010, followed by The Kiss of a Stranger (a re-publication of The Ramshackle Knight) in 2011. Seeking Persephone, a 2008 Whitney Award finalist for Best Romance, is scheduled for re-publication in fall of 2011.

THE KISS OF A STRANGER
by Sarah M. Eden
Covenant Communications, Inc. 2011
ISBN: 978-1-60861-175-1

When Crispin, Lord Cavratt, thoroughly and scandalously kisses a serving woman in the garden of a country inn, he assumes the encounter will be of no consequence. But he couldn't be more mistaken--the maid is not only a lady of birth, she's the niece of a very large, exceptionally angry gentlemen, who claims Crispin has compromised his niece beyond redemption. The dismayed young lord has no choice but to marry Miss Catherine Thorndale, who lacks both money and refinement and assumes all men are as vicious as her guardian uncle.

Trapped between an unwanted marriage and a hasty annulment, which would leave his reputation tainted and Catherine's utterly ruined, Crispin begins guiding his wife's transformatoin from a socially petrified country girl to a lady of society. Their unfolding relationship reveals encouraging surprises for both of them, and privately each of them wonders if theirs maay become a true marriage of the heart. But their hopes are dashed when forces conspire to split asunder what fate has granted. As a battle of wits escalates into a life-threatening confrontation, will it be possible for Crispin and Catherine to live happily ever after?

A delightful romance between the confidence Crispin and the quiet, uncertain Catherine.  While Crispin does not intend for the marriage to last, he can't help but be drawn to Catherine, especially when she demonstrates that beneath her timid exterior lies a mischievous sense of humor.  Yet Catherine's uncle isn't finished with her which creates additional problems for the couple. My favorite scenes though are the humorous ones involving Crispin and Catherine, especially the one involving fairy cakes and fountains. :) You'll have to read it yourself to find out more, just know that the book is full of friendship, family, and romance with plenty of excitement along the way.

FRIENDS & FOES
by Sarah M. Eden
Covenant Communications, Inc. 2012
ISBN: 978-1-60861-376-2

After five years of tracking and capturing spies on English soil, Philip Jonquil, Earl of Lampton, is in pursuit of his last quarry. But at a traveler’s inn, he encounters an unexpected and far more maddening foe: Sorrel Kendrick, a young lady who is strikingly pretty, shockingly outspoken, and entirely unimpressed with him. Indeed, Sorrel cannot believe the nerve of this gentleman, who rudely accuses her of theft and insults her feminine dignity. Doubly annoyed when they both end up at a party hosted by mutual friends, Philip and Sorrel privately declare war on one another. But Philip’s tactics, which range from flirting to indifference, soon backfire as he finds himself reluctantly enjoying Sorrel’s company; and, much to her dismay, Sorrel finds Philip’s odd manner to be increasingly endearing. In the midst of this waning war and growing attraction, Philip catches wind of the French spy he’s been tracking, and Sorrel inadvertently stumbles upon a crucial piece of the puzzle, making her indispensable to the mission. But can two proud hearts negotiate a ceasefire when cooperation matters most?

I enjoy it when I get to meet characters that I liked from previous books.  In this story we get to meet up again with Crispin and Catherine, even though the main story is not theirs. Here the focus is on Philip, Crispin's friend from The Kiss of a Stranger.  Working undercover seeking out spies, Philip has chosen to pose as a 'dandy.'  While posing as such he encounters a young lady with a very sharp wit.  The two find themselves in a war of words, some of them sharp and unkind. Yet, despite their war they start to find enjoyment in the others company.  But will Philip's responsibilities get in the way? And what about the spy Philip has been searching for for so long. 

I enjoyed this book as I have all of the other one's that the author has written.  Each character is thoroughly fleshed out, even the secondary characters.  While the story is a bit predictable the journey is so enjoyable that it doesn't matter.  And the ending is a bit surprising. Once again, Eden creates a fun romance without throwing in any bad language or sexual scenes.  The kissing scenes are appropriate and delightful. I find myself able to recommend this book wholeheartedly for those who enjoy sweet, yet exciting romances.

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