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Monday, June 23, 2014

Tour! An Interview with Sarah Daltry, Author of Bitter Fruits!

Bitter Fruits (Eden's Fall #1) by Sarah Daltry 
Genre: New Adult (Paranormal Romance)
Date Published: December 1, 2013
Publisher: Escape Publishing

For fans of dark urban fantasy comes a novel that questions why forbidden fruit is always the most tempting…

A vampire-themed masquerade party isn't really her scene, but Nora is sick of frat parties and bars. When she meets Alec, the appeal suddenly becomes clear. It’s obvious that they've been struck by the same intense mutual attraction, but Alec keeps his distance. Intrigued despite herself, Nora pushes a little deeper — and discovers Alec’s unimaginable secret…

Nora is not afraid of following Alec into the darkness, but the choice is soon taken from her. Someone is hunting her — someone tied to the secret and desperate to see it play out. But when Nora finally meets her aggressor, she finds herself hopelessly drawn to him. She needs to make a choice between the two men, but can she save them both, knowing one is destined to die?

“This book is one of the best paranormals I've read, and I've read a lot. Five stars hands down! I am proud to pass it on to all of you. Buy this book, devour it and enjoy.”

He sits in front of me and brings me to his chest. Our flesh is hot and sticky where it touches and I can’t stop the ache between my legs. His breathing is ragged and he tightens his grip on the back of my head as he tries to slow it. I am hurt or angry or frustrated, but I don’t know which. He runs his hands along my entire body and I push against him, needing him and not knowing how to accept his denial.

‘I want you, Nora. I have wanted you since I saw you. You are gorgeous. However, there are secrets that… Please understand, the steps that you want to take will reveal things. This cannot end well for either of us. I don’t want to make you suffer, but I am fated to suffer. Don’t make me bring you with me into the darkness. I can’t bear to lose you.’

I sense the pain that grips him. The darkness that he speaks of sounds frightening, but I don’t feel fear when I face him and meet his eyes. ‘I will follow you anywhere. Dark or light. Stop trying to make my choices for me.’

Our lips meet again, but it is with doubt. Neither of us knows what will happen if we are to move forward, but I want to have a chance to find out.
My body is still crying out for him but now my mind is calm. I want him, but I want him when he knows that I’m ready for whatever that means. His hands touch me and his caresses are soft. We both slow our breathing and I try to let my will match his. When he pulls away, he gathers the picnic and looks at me with longing and a hunger I do not recognize. It’s not sexual, but desperate. Almost as a dying man looks in the last moments of his life.
‘In three days,’ he says, ‘I will meet you again at the church where we first met. In the meantime, I want you to look something up — and if you do not appear at the church, I’ll know that what you found changed everything.’

‘Okay,’ I say warily. I’ll do anything he asks, but his fear scares me. What kind of secrets can he possibly hold? Little right now could stop me from going to him in three days.

‘Find the name Charles Samuels. He was an Oxford student in the 1960s. And then we shall see how much of the darkness you are willing to face.’

‘I’ll look him up, but Alec, I’m going to be at the church in three days,’ I say.

‘For your sake, Nora, I hope that you’re not.’

How long have you been writing?
As long as I can remember. I don’t have many memories of childhood, oddly, but the ones I do have involve stories. Reading them, writing them, making up little puppet shows and plays for my family. We used to have a tape recorder and I recorded a bunch of little stories in it when I was around three or four. I struggle to live in my own life, so I prefer the worlds I create. 

What inspired you to write Bitter Fruits?
It’s a little embarrassing to admit, but I was watching Supernatural and I thought, “Dean and Sam are hot. That would be one hell of a threesome.” From that immature and prurient thought, however, I started to contemplate the complexity of sibling relationships and how a romantic entanglement would interfere. As I thought about it even more, I went back to the mythology I had studied extensively in school, and that’s where I ended up with this story. The title comes from Cain, a play by Lord Byron, and in a lot of ways, I think it’s really a Romantic sensibility mixed in with the doctrine we all know. 

When you first started writing Bitter Fruits, did you plan for it to be a series?
Yes. The series is heavily based on the number three, as it’s an important number in Biblical mythology.

Which of your characters do you relate to most and why?
In this series? Nora, because she’s sarcastic. She also handles this entire urban fantasy/paranormal thing how I probably would. She just mocks it and tries not to lose her mind. 

What is a secret about you that nobody else knows?
I’ll be totally honest. There are very few people who really know me. I tried a few things throughout this process. I tried being outgoing and totally up front about myself. I tried being as real as I could be. However, I found that people were no different now than they were in high school – and I don’t generally like people. Theoretically, I love people and I try to make the world better but individually, I struggle to communicate with anyone. Now, I mostly just keep to myself and every so often do this kind of thing when my PA team suggests it. It’s not that I don’t want to be social; it’s that people have made it clear how unwanted I am. 

If your real life as a teenager was a Young/New Adult book, what would you, the main character, be like?
Whiny and moody and impossible. I don’t know. I don’t think I’m those things, but again, people seem to think they know who I am and what I am. I relate most to Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson or The Catcher in the Rye. I guess that’s why I love YA. The characters are brutally honest in so many of the novels and I just don’t find that kind of depth and realism in books for “adults” as a whole. Sure, it exists (Jodi Picoult and Tom Perrotta, for example), but I find that even what people see as “fluffy” YA has so much more honesty in it. 

What book have you read too many times to count?
The Catcher in the Rye, The Great Gatsby, Frankenstein, Hamlet. Those are probably the ones I read the most. I have been reading The Catcher in the Rye since I was around 11 or 12 and I think I’ve read it at least once a year since. I used to teach high school English, too, so I seem to reread classics a lot. Even now that I don’t teach, I find that when the well is dry, as they say, the classics revive me.

What is the best piece of writing advice you ever received?
A while back, I emailed Courtney Summers, because she’s my favorite living writer, and I asked for advice. It was a long response, but basically, what I got from it was that too many people focus on the wrong things. It was a pretty personal message on my part and her response was really kind and fairly personal, but suffice it to say that she made me think and she reminded me a lot of why I admire her so much and why the writing itself isn’t the problem. I don’t enjoy publishing at all, but the writing is a need and a hunger. 

If you could hop into the life of any fictional character, who would it be and why?
Probably Karou in Days of Blood and Starlight. I wish that book was food and I could consume it.

What was one of the most surprising things you learned in creating your books?
I learned a lot about myself and about the integrity and lack thereof in the majority of people. I also learned about these characters, who are so real and important to me, and I love them like they are real.

What do you like to do when you're not writing?
Play Xbox. Hang out with my cats and husband. Read. Watch Jeopardy and Doctor Who.

Are any of the things in your books based on real life experiences or purely all imagination?
A lot come from real life mixed with creative license. In Bitter Fruits, I used my academic background to frame Nora’s. I used to go to clubs and parties like the vampire masquerade she attended. It’s set in New England and the later books will be set in the UK as well, all places I know well. My realistic fiction draws more from my real life, of course, but I use parts of things I know in even my fantasy. 

Sarah Daltry writes books in a variety of genres, including the NA contemporary series, Flowering, and YA gamer geek comedy, Backward Compatible.

To learn more about Sarah Daltry and her books, visit her website.You can also find her on GoodreadsFacebook, and Twitter.
1 Signed paperback of Backward Compatible – US Only
4 Signed swag packs- US Only
2 Ebook copies of Bitter Fruits 
a Rafflecopter giveaway

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