What to Read Wednesday

13 Mar

Yep, it’s that time again for What to Read Wednesday. Today I have the uber-talented, awesomematic, terrifically funny Sarah Ballance joining us. We both share visions of cocktails on boats and writing endlessly–maybe with a hunky cabana boy fanning us and feeding us grapes and cheese–but today she’s going to give us a sneak peek into her latest release LAST CALL and also her most interesting life–seriously, I don’t know how she does all she does and still finds time to write amazing stories. 

Take it away Sarah…Sarah Ballance

Interrupt Me. Please.

By day, I have six kids underfoot. (Like, all day. They’re homeschooled). By the time dinner is on the table, I’ve served about 24 meals, started at least four loads of laundry, and have handwashed at least two times every dish in the house. (Okay, so that last part is an exaggeration, but it sure feels that way.) So when it’s time to go to my writing cave, I really, REALLY don’t want to be bothered. But there are some events that really bear interruption. Here are five such moments.

  • The toilet is overflowing. We only have one, so this is news I need. Not so I can fix it, mind you, but so I can make sure my husband knows so he can fix it. Because, ew. (Honorable mention to the time the entire bathroom door was detached and laying in the hall.)
  • You have coffee for me. I’m just sayin’.
  • The fire department is here. True story: my husband built a bonfire so big the fire department said “we can’t touch it” and left. Talk about a proud moment for him, LOL.
  • There’s a pig running around the yard. Or a snake loose in the house. (True on both counts. And I don’t mean a pet snake. I mean an uninvited four foot king snake. In the house.*shudder*)
  • The kids are gone. Not gone as in kidnapped, but gone as in at grandmas. While this is a fantastic time to write, it’s also a great time to have a drink. A wickedly stiff one. On a boat. (Come to think of it, I’d also need to know they were kidnapped.)

I also make exceptions for hugs, kisses, and little voices saying Love you, Mommy, but all such encounters end with “LOCK THE DOOR!” Not exactly warm and fuzzy, but dang it, I WANT TO WRITE!

Do you allow interruptions to your writing time? (Like we “allow” them, LOL. Suffer might be a better word!) If so, where do you draw the line?

Thanks so much for having me here today, Christine! I’m thrilled to share your spotlight for the day. (And I’m totally sneaking us out to the boat for drinks later, mkay?)

You know I’m in!  Woot Woot!!!…and thank you for joining us on What to Read Wednesday 🙂

LastCall 500x750LAST CALL by Sarah Ballance – Romantic suspense for just 99 cents!

In a perilous game of trust, a shocking betrayal deals a dangerous hand.

An accidental witness to a murder-for-hire, ex-cop Rhys Clark becomes the target of ruthless killer—one determined to silence her at any cost. Playing dead seems to be the most likely way to stay alive, but when her protection comes in the form of mega-sexy former adversary Nick Massey, Rhys can think of  a few fates worse than death.

Nick Massey may have walked away from his troubles, but he never got past wanting Rhys. Once paired undercover, they’d been nothing but fireworks until a botched assignment ended her career, sending his into a tailspin. Now a mysterious client threatens Nick’s life if he doesn’t keep Rhys safe, but it isn’t until fate takes a critical turn that he realizes the devastating truth: he’s been her greatest threat all along.


Author: Sarah Ballance

Genre: Romantic Suspense

Publisher: For the Muse Publishing, 2013

ISBN 13: 978-0-9889995-0-3

LAST CALL is available from: For the Muse PublishingAmazonBarnes & Noble, and Smashwords (formats: .mobi, .epub, HTML, PDF, RTF, LRF, PalmDoc, and Plain Text). Click here to add to Goodreads or here for reviews.

Cover art by For the Muse Design

Last Call | Excerpt

Nick Massey dropped a fifty on the bar. “Keep ’em coming,” he said, claiming the stool he planned to own the rest of the night.

Bart — short for bartender, because that was the only name the bastard provided — raised his eyebrows, his face scoured with surprise. The blink-and-you-missed-it moment passed, but the edge of curiosity left his tone musical. “Thought you didn’t ‘pay three times the cost of the grocery store’ for a drink,” he said. It was Nick’s oft-repeated refrain.

Nick snorted. He’d been a regular before he left town several months back, but not the sort who paid well. Since he mostly went for the company, he didn’t find Bart’s scowling face worth the cost of the beer. “Special occasion.” Nick tapped the bill, the likes of which had never left his wallet in present company. “You want it or not?”

Bart worked his hands through a dingy towel. “Depends on how much of it’s the tip,” he said, eyeing the crisp Ulysses as if dead presidents made a regular habit of walking out of his bar.

Of course, this one might. “Not a damn cent if you don’t bring me a beer.”

Before Nick finished his sentence, the drink hit the counter in front of him, spewing from the mouth. He turned up the bottle, the liquid going down a lot easier than his sorrows. When he returned the beer to the counter, Bart’s pinched, narrow gaze bore into Nick.

“What?” he asked.

“You’re drinking.” Shaking his head, Bart flipped the towel over his shoulder and pointed a thumb at the television, which flashed the late news in a soundless cadence of light. “World end or something?”

Sarcasm. Nick raised the bottle, tipping it toward the screen. “Update at eleven.”

Bart’s face cracked into a grin. “It’s a woman.”

Nick figured his lack of answer was answer enough.

“Gimme one guess,” Bart said, rubbing his chin with meaty fingers. If the gesture intended to hide the slow smile creeping across his lips, it failed. “The one you shot?”

“The one and only.” Rhys Clark. Just the woman Nick was there to forget. Bart had the memory of an elephant; granted, if Nick had kept his mouth shut about the shooting eight months ago, Bart wouldn’t have anything to remember. The whole incident had been swept under the proverbial rug — the media had been none the wiser and evidentiary points of collateral damage numbered two. One being Rhys’s career, and the other the patch of cemetery grass blanketing an innocent witness.

Nick had wasted a whole lot of time failing to get over either one.

Bart pushed a finger against the bar. “She’s been thinking about you. And after what went down, goes without saying you’d be thinking back.”

Nick drained the bottle and slid it across the counter. “What do you mean, she’s been thinking about me?”

Bart dropped a replacement on the scarred wooden slab, then pointed to a table in the corner. The same table Nick had shared with Rhys for all of an hour, days before he shot her. “She’s been here once or twice. Same real estate.”

The news hit him in the stomach, some odd combination of grief and hope. “She sat at the same table? Alone?”

Bart’s bushy brow lifted. “Sitting — and drinking — alone.”

Nick’s grip on his beer turned white. As partners on the force, he and Rhys had been intense. Though much of their shared passion bordered on adversarial, there hadn’t been a single moment he didn’t fight the urge to take her to bed. Hell, the look in her eyes dared him to do it; the table in the corner was as close as things had ever come to getting personal.

Only, it was all personal.

There was some sort of departmental code against screwing the wheels off your partner, but he worked deep undercover without a shield. Sidestepping rules was in his job description, though he wasn’t without conscience. He knew he’d hurt her in the end.

Damned fool.

He’d been worried about her heart, never once thinking he’d end her career.

Nick was kidding himself thinking he could come back to his old life. Hell, he didn’t even know who he was anymore. He’d spent so many years playing a role he’d lost himself along the way. The one beacon in his dark night was Rhys, and he’d yet to forgive himself for what he’d done to her. Guilt had nearly cost him his own career — an end he saw fitting if he was one for giving up.

And that, he was not.

Still, though he’d only seen Rhys that morning in a glance through the plate glass window of a downtown coffee shop, the ache of being so close was physical. Knowing she’d been in the bar while he was gone — at their table — tore him up.

Which was about as cliché as a guy could get, but he wasn’t out for originality.

He wanted to forget.

“Speak of the devil. That’s her, ain’t it?”

Nick’s attention shot from the maimed, carefully-lacquered countertop.

Bart had his back turned, giving Nick a good view of the bartender’s thick neck rolls. Arm extended, remote in hand, Bart pumped buttons until noise filled the room.

“…Rhys Clark, twenty-nine…”

The television — Nick craned to see around Bart just as he stepped to the side — revealed a head shot of Rhys on the screen.

Right over the headline.


LAST CALL is available from: For the Muse PublishingAmazonBarnes & Noble, and Smashwords (formats: .mobi, .epub, HTML, PDF, RTF, LRF, PalmDoc, and Plain Text). Click here to add to Goodreads or here for reviews.

About Sarah Ballance

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 at







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36 responses to “What to Read Wednesday

  1. Neecy

    March 13, 2013 at 6:35 am

    Great to meet you, Sarah! Six children, wow! Don’t know how you find the time to write, but whatever you do, it must work great.
    Wish you all the best with your new and upcoming releases.

    • ChristineWarner

      March 13, 2013 at 8:12 am

      So glad you dropped in Denice….and if you get the chance to pick up one of Sarah’s books…DO IT! lol

    • sarahballance

      March 13, 2013 at 8:49 am

      Hi, Neecy! Writing time used to be really hard to come by, but now I just shut the door and deal with the ensuing disasters the next day. I think if I waited for the right time I’d be half crazed. Or all the way there. (Depends on who you ask, LOL.) Thanks so much for your good wishes!

  2. Cait

    March 13, 2013 at 7:46 am

    You must be so disciplined, Sarah — well done! Inspiring. My girls come and interrupt with the ‘love you Mummy’ and hugs and kisses too, and I do feel bad in sending them off but hey. You gotta do what you gotta do! Good luck with Last Call, it sounds fabulous!

    • ChristineWarner

      March 13, 2013 at 8:12 am

      Thanks for coming by Cait 🙂

    • sarahballance

      March 13, 2013 at 8:59 am

      Thank you, Cait! I’m glad I’m not alone in banning the little love bugs. They sure know how to get to you, don’t they? LOL. And I wish I could call myself disciplined, but I think it’s more along the lines of knowing I’d better write something or my evenings of solitude will come to a quick end. Talk about motivation! *grin*

  3. Kristina Knight

    March 13, 2013 at 9:22 am

    *suffering* the interruptions, that is so right on..and I only have 1. I might be certifiable after a day with 6!! I don’t know how you do it, Sarah. 🙂

    Good luck with your books – love that cover.

    • ChristineWarner

      March 13, 2013 at 10:38 am

      LOL…I’ve said the same thing Kristi. Sarah has my complete respect 🙂 So glad you came by.

    • sarahballance

      March 13, 2013 at 12:29 pm

      Thank you, Kristina! And if it helps, when I’m down to one kid for one reason or another, it’s HARDER. *headdesk* (Sad but true, lol).

  4. Jennifer Lowery

    March 13, 2013 at 9:26 am

    Fun interview! Sarah, your humor is wonderful! And with 6 kids I’ll bet it comes in handy 🙂 Enjoyed the excerpt and love the cover! Can’t wait to read the book!

    • ChristineWarner

      March 13, 2013 at 10:39 am

      Thanks for coming by and commenting Jennifer…I hope you enjoy Sarah’s book when you read it. She’s an amazing author.

    • sarahballance

      March 13, 2013 at 12:31 pm

      LOL, Jennifer. That is so true. You either laugh or cry, and there’s not a whole lot of in-between! Thanks so much for your kind words!

  5. Melissa Limoges

    March 13, 2013 at 11:59 am

    Haha awesome post. Definitely made me chuckle. And I’ve already picked up my copy of Last Call. Looking forward to reading it. Congratulations on your release, Sarah. 🙂

    • sarahballance

      March 13, 2013 at 12:32 pm

      Yay! Thank you so much, Melissa! I hope you enjoy it!

    • ChristineWarner

      March 13, 2013 at 12:43 pm

      Awesome Melissa…you’ll really enjoy Sarah’s work. So glad you came by 🙂

  6. Sharon Cullen

    March 13, 2013 at 3:27 pm

    This made me laugh. And I love your cover!

    • sarahballance

      March 13, 2013 at 3:35 pm

      Aw, yay! I’m glad. And I have to agree with you – my cover artist Elaina Lee is amazing. I lurve her! Thanks so much, Sharon!

  7. Jenna Jaxon

    March 13, 2013 at 6:09 pm

    Hi, Sarah! Great post. Those are certainly valid reasons to be interrupted while writing. LOL But really, 8 people and only one bathroom! Yikes! One more reason to disappear into the writing cave. 🙂 I’m starting Last Call tonight! Can’t wait to read it!

    • ChristineWarner

      March 13, 2013 at 7:08 pm

      So glad you came by Jenna…Happy Reading!

    • sarahballance

      March 14, 2013 at 9:54 am

      Ooooh, I’m honored, Jenna! Thank you so much! And yes, the bathroom thing is a bit unreal. The plans we bought for our new house include seven bathrooms. I might call that a bit extreme, but not coming off eight people with just one! LOL.

  8. Karen C

    March 13, 2013 at 9:48 pm

    So. We already know I am a devoted fan and love all your work, including Last Call. An additon to your interruption list – big “white rats”! :O) I agree with Christine – you are wickedly funny. I just love people who have a warped sense of humor. Oops. Sorry. I meant wicked!!!

    • ChristineWarner

      March 14, 2013 at 1:28 am

      LOL…love your wording…and your rewording Karen.Glad you dropped by!

    • sarahballance

      March 14, 2013 at 9:56 am

      LMAO! You know, my editor mentioned the giant white rat to me last night. You guys are ganging up to give me nightmares, LOL! No wonder I’m … ahem … warped. ;c) Thanks so much for visiting, Karen!

  9. D'Ann Lindun

    March 14, 2013 at 12:56 am

    Holey Moley! Six kids and you write??? I bow down.

    • ChristineWarner

      March 14, 2013 at 1:29 am

      She’s an impressive lady for sure…and one who can make you laugh….Thanks so much for coming by D’Ann!

    • sarahballance

      March 14, 2013 at 9:58 am

      I MUST, D’Ann. When I write, I get to lock myself in the writing cave to be LEFT ALONE… ’nuff said. LOL! Thanks for commenting (and for the laugh!)

  10. Anonymous

    March 15, 2013 at 9:17 am

    Gnarly write-up mate, keep yeyey efkj ekfje, simply shared this along with tuttavia friendz

    • sarahballance

      March 15, 2013 at 2:52 pm

      I’ll have what you’re having! *grins*

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