Sandra Byrd: author spotlight + giveaway

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I’m delighted to introduce y’all to a new-to-me author today! I’ve just read my first of her books and I’m looking forward to checking out her other titles. Plus, she is sharing about Victorian flower language and an exclusive giveaway just for y’all!

About the Author

After earning her first rejection at the age of thirteen, bestselling author Sandra Byrd has now published fifty books. Her adult fiction debut, Let Them Eat Cake, was a Christy Award finalist, as was her first historical novel, To Die For: A Novel of Anne Boleyn. To Die For was also named by Library Journal as a Best Books Pick, as was The Secret Keeper: A Novel of Kateryn Parr.

A life-long lover of Victorian Gothic romances, Sandra’s new series, Daughters of Hampshire, weaves elements of that mystical, traditional genre with inspirational and literary threads. Mist of Midnight, the series’ first book, was honored with a coveted Editor’s Choice designation from the Historical Novel Society. The second book in the series, Bride of a Distant Isle, launched in March 2016 and the third, A Lady in Disguise is out in 2017.

A devotionalist as well as a novelist, Sandra’s best-selling devotional for tweens, One Year Be-Tween You and God was followed up with her first devotional for adults, The One Year Home and Garden Devotions.  The One Year Experiencing the Love of God devotional will publish in Fall, 2017.

She is passionate about helping new authors develop their talent and their work toward traditional or independent publication. As such, she has mentored and coached hundreds of new writers and continues to edit and coach dozens to success each year. Please visit www.novelcoaching.com to learn more.

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Five Favorite Victorian Flowers

Sandra: The Victorian Era was one in which people considered themselves strictly held to moral standards – especially between the sexes. It was a time when young women were often accompanied by a mother, aunt, or another appropriate chaperone, and private conversation was not always possible.

Expensive gifts were not given until a person was engaged to be married, and affections were not openly expressed early in courtship – at least not where others could see or hear.  Not to be dissuaded, our romantic Victorians found other—perhaps more charming—ways to express their affections.

Beth: Victorians and their rules, oh my! 

Sandra: The language of flowers allowed men and women to say things, quietly, that society would not allow them to say aloud. Here are five of my favorites that were favorites then, too:

Roses:  A white one said, “I am worthy of you.” Perhaps this would be sent after a romantic partner was suspected of courting more than one woman.

Tulips: A red tulip, sent, was a bold declaration of love.  There would be no wondering if there were marital intentions after the receipt of a bouquet of such!

Carnations: A red one said, “Alas! For my poor heart!” Take pity on the man. Give him another chance.

Purple Lilacs: The first declaration of love. Imagine the thrill when these heady blossoms arrived to perfume the room and announce the affection you’d hoped to hear!

Oleander: This flower meant … beware.  Oh! Who would send such a warning? It has my gothic mind turning toward the next mystery…

Beth: Fascinating! 

Books

Tell us about your latest release.

Sandra: A Lady in Disguise is the third, and final, book in my Daughters of Hampshire series, a series of Victorian Gothic Romances.  Not familiar with what makes a Gothic Romance? Pop over to this page on my website for a quick introduction! The other two books in the series are Mist of Midnight and Bride of a Distant Isle.  I have just loved writing these books and hope that you, and your readers, will love reading them, too!

In this intriguing novel of romance, mystery, and clever disguise set in Victorian England, a young woman investigates the murder of her own father.

A Lady in Disguise by Sandra ByrdAfter the mysterious death of her father, Miss Gillian Young takes a new job as the principal costume designer at the renowned Drury Lane Theatre Royal. But while she remembers her father as a kind, well-respected man of the Police Force, clues she uncovers indicate he’d been living a double life: a haunting photograph of a young woman; train stubs for secret trips just before his death; and a receipt for a large sum of money. Are these items evidence of her father’s guilty secrets? His longtime police partner thinks so.

Then Gillian meets the dashing Viscount Thomas Lockwood. Their attraction is instant and inescapable. As their romantic involvement grows, Gillian begins to suspect even Lockwood’s motives. Does Lord Lockwood truly love her? Or is his interest a front for the desire to own her newly inherited property? And what should she make of her friend’s suggestion that Lockwood or men like him were involved in the murder of her father?

Soon Gillian is convinced that her father has left evidence somewhere that can prove his innocence and reveal the guilty party. But someone wants to stop her from discovering it. The closer she comes to uncovering it, the more menacing her opposition grows. With her life on the line, Gillian takes on an ingenious disguise and takes on the role of a lifetime to reveal the true killer—before it’s too late both for her and for those that she loves.

goodreads | amazon

Beth: This is such an engaging story and interesting time period! I’ll have my full review up very soon!

What are you working on now?

Sandra: Although A Lady in Disguise is the final book in the Daughter of Hampshire series, I am delighted to pass along that it will not be the final Victorian Gothic Romance I’m writing. I’ll be writing three more books, all in the same vein, for Tyndale House!  If you’ll please sign up for my newsletter here, I can let you know when the books are out. And … we hold a very fun teapal teacup exchange in September. You won’t want to miss it!

Beth: Thank you so much for sharing about Victorian flower language and your latest bookish news, Sandra!!!

Also Available

Daughters of Hampshire series

A Lady in Disguise by Sandra Byrd

goodreads | amazon

 

Giveaway

Sandra Byrd has generously offered to send a copy of A Lady in Disguise, along with one of these delightful Victorian cameo jewelry sets, to one fortunate Faithfully Bookish reader!

Sandra Byrd giveaway

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What is your favorite flower?

46 Comments


  1. // Reply

    I have to say Stargazer Lilies are my favorite flower. Thank you for a fun interview and giveaway!


    1. // Reply

      Those are lovely! My granny always had several different varieties of lilies around her home.


  2. // Reply

    My favorite flower has to be hydrangea. As I was a child, all I knew them by was Granny’s Flowers because it was my grandmother that grew them. Always amazed me that you could pick one flower and have a whole bouquet. Then as an adult I learned you can change their color by the type soil which was cool. As for favorite fragrant flower, it has to be the gardenia.


  3. // Reply

    My favorite flowers are lilacs. I enjoyed this interview! Thank you!!!!


    1. // Reply

      Whenever I think about lilacs I think of the Nancy Drew mystery that was set at Lilac Inn. Nancy was visiting this cool Inn to help her friend Emily plan her wedding. And in Nancy Drew style a mystery quickly entered the scene…well…it actually starts in the first pages of the book b/c Nancy and Helen’s canoe capsizes under mysterious circumstances. ooOOOooo. =D


  4. // Reply

    Mums are my favorite flower.


  5. // Reply

    I like gardenias. My grandma had a bush, and I loved when we cut some and floated them in a bowl.


  6. // Reply

    My favorite flower is the gardenia!! Its intoxicating fragrance fills the room. Being from the south , this flower grows easily. My second would be a tie between the hydrangea and wisteria. I love an collect cameos!! My sister and i used to always get them for each other before she passed away.


  7. // Reply

    Who knew that flowers could have such a secret language! I wonder how they got the word out that certain flowers meant certain things. I love daffodils and roses. 😀


  8. // Reply

    My favorite flowers that I have in my garden are perennial phlox and Asiatic lilies. They both come in various colors, and I can’t resist buying them when I find new colors.

    Thanks for the interview, Beth! Sandra Byrd is a new-to-me author, too, but I need to remedy that–soon! This book looks and sounds so intriguing.


  9. // Reply

    My favorite flowers are mums


  10. // Reply

    The first time I heard about flowers carrying messages was in an old victorian classic I read. I was intrigued ever since! Back in college, I remember my way cool English teacher brought up flowers and their meanings again. I thought it was cool that the rose could mean different things depending on whether it was a bud or a fully blooming flower.

    I don’t have a favorite flower exactly…but I do like daisies, roses and *yikes* oleander (It was always so pretty at the beach – so knew?!). 🙂 I actually planted several types of daisy seeds over the weekend in those Jiffy Greenhouses with the pellets inside…it’s my first year using them so I’m excited!

    Blessings,
    Meg


  11. // Reply

    I love reading about all of your favorite flowers – I admit, mine tend to change from season to season. I do love both Ranunculus and Peonies for their petticoat look!!


  12. // Reply

    My favorite flowers are peonies, it’s too bad they don’t bloom longer than in the Spring.


  13. // Reply

    Anything that I can grow. I have a black thumb!


  14. // Reply

    I love roses! All colors! Tulips and daffodils are my favorites in Spring because they seem to pop up first reminding us that Spring is coming and Winter is almost over!


    1. // Reply

      I love Spring too! We didn’t have much winter weather here but I am ready for more color outdoors!



  15. // Reply

    I love peach colored roses and bleeding hearts. Honestly all flowers are beautiful and God’s creations!


  16. // Reply

    My favorite flower is white roses and I can’t explain why. :):):)


  17. // Reply

    My favorite flower is the Daffodil with tulips being a close second. I’m sure my affinity for daffodils is due to growing up in the Puyallup Valley of Washington State where an annual Daffodil Festival is held. In the spring when you drove to my house, you were surrounded on both sides of the road by daffodil fields. Now, I live a couple of hours north where the same is true for tulips.


  18. // Reply

    I think my favorite flower is the daffodil. The color varieties and unique shape are so beautiful! When I was in high school, I even memorized Wordworth’s poem about daffodils, lol.


  19. // Reply

    I enjoy seeing fields of wildflowers. So gorgeous! 🙂


  20. // Reply

    I love an Orchid and yellow roses. I know that’s two, but I can’t decide.


  21. // Reply

    My favorite flower is the Stargazer lily. Also yellow roses.


  22. // Reply

    Ooohhh….I love flowers!….It’s hard to choose just one. My three favorites are: Evening Primrose, Cosmos and Peonies. Thanks for a GREAT interview, Sandra & Beth! I really enjoyed getting to know more about the Victorian era! And thanks for the opportunity of this FANTASTIC giveaway!!!
    ~Alison


  23. // Reply

    My favorite color is purple and I love Lilac’s. I would love a chance to read this book.


  24. // Reply

    DAISIES🌻🌻🌻🌻


  25. // Reply

    My favorite flower is a carnation. I love the smell of them and they last longer than a rose!


  26. // Reply

    I love Lilly of the Valley, and lady’s Slipper. Though there are so many beautiful ones!
    Thank you for this giveaway!!


  27. // Reply

    Love flowers–all flowers. Sunflowers do make me happy though.


  28. // Reply

    Of course I love roses, but I prefer big vases full of hydrangeas. Varying colors. The unspoken language surrounding flowers is so interesting!


  29. // Reply

    My favorite flower is the daisy. It is such a simple but elegant flower. I love the traditional white and yellow the best.


  30. // Reply

    I love orchids and lavender roses


  31. // Reply

    Lovely post! I really enjoyed this novel!


  32. // Reply

    Hmm my favorite is orchids. They are so delicate and beautiful.


  33. // Reply

    My favorite flower is alstroemeria. I’d never heard of it before visiting a florist before my wedding. It comes in lots of colors and is a long-lasting cut flower.


  34. // Reply

    Daisies. They bring a smile to my face.


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