Richard Brawer is visiting me today to chat up his new release, Love’s Sweet Sorrow. It’s a suspenseful story about how a couple’s love and faith are tested as they battle to expose smugglers selling weapons to terrorists.
I’ll now cede the spotlight and let him tell you all about it.
Just a note to bring your attention to Richard's giveaway, details about which are at the very bottom this post.
1. Hi Richard, and welcome to my blog. You’re an experienced author with multiple books under your belt. What sets your new release apart from you previous works? Did you try something new with this story?
What sets Love’s Sweet Sorrow apart from my previous books is the relationship between Jason, the protagonist, and Ariel, his Quaker love interest. In my other books, the female is there to help the protagonist. They have a few spats but nothing monumental. In Love’s Sweet Sorrow the two characters are entirely different and often at odds with each other.
The introduction of the Quaker female character in Love’s Sweet Sorrow changed the entire nature of the book. It started out as a strictly suspense novel but rapidly became a romantic suspense which I had never written before.
2. Do Ariel’s beliefs become a source of conflict in your book?
Absolutely! They have been getting along well despite their differing views of the world until Ariel becomes caught up in the battle to retrieve the evidence Jason has uncovered that implicated his boss in a conspiracy to sell weapons to terrorists.
In this scene, they have been taken captive and are locked in a basement. Jason sees something he can use as a weapon and asks Ariel to help him. She refuses.
To paraphrase the dialogue this is their first verbal blowup:
“If I am not successful in making this weapon, we are going to die.”
“If that is God’s will.”
He jumped up. “God’s will! That’s the excuse you Quakers use to let someone else do your fighting for you.”
“I didn’t expect to hear that from you. I thought you were different.”
It was the first time he ever saw her angry. He hadn’t meant what he said and wanted to suck it back into his mouth the instant it came out, but he was so frustrated with her because she wouldn’t help him. “I’m sorry.”
“No you’re not. You said what you thought.”
He started to reply.
She raised her hand to silence him. “You malign me because I am true to my beliefs and the testimonies of my forbearers. In every war this country fought Friends have been branded traitors and cowards because we held fast to our beliefs that war and fighting and killing are against God’s will. Yet we were there on the front lines, unprotected, helping the wounded and those that suffered because of war.”
As the chases and escapes continue Ariel falls deeper and deeper into depression at having to abandon her convictions and Jason works very hard to try and convince her she has not forsaken her faith.
Please do not misunderstand me. Love’s Sweet Sorrow is not a religious book or Christian themed book. There is no preaching. It is a romantic suspense novel. However to show the differences between the characters I had to explain the Quaker religion both in dialogue and action scenes as depicted above. I think readers will find it interesting.
3. Let’s talk a bit about your hero, Jason. Can you tell me a bit about him and what he does for a living?
Jason is the head of the legal department of America’s largest weapons manufacturer. He is six feet two inches tall and weighs 200 pounds. That is his physical description. His depiction of himself is that he is God’s gift to women.
He is also a cynic. He says to Ariel, “If the world should blow itself up and there are only two people left, when they cross paths one will pick up a rock and throw it at the other.”
Ariel, being an idealist, responds, “I will never believe that.”
4. Considering the backgrounds of your main characters, it’s hard to imagine their lives intersecting. What brings them together? Can you share a snippet from when they first meet?
He had met her at a lawyer’s seminar, one of those boring continual education conferences that he hated, but had to attend to maintain his license. Entering the lecture hall, he had spotted the profile of a beautiful woman in the front row. He usually sat as far back as possible so he could work on a brief. It seemed the other attendees were of the same mind because, except for the woman, the first ten rows were empty. Continuing to gaze at her, he decided to forgo his normal choice of seat, thinking, maybe today wouldn’t be such a bore. He walked to her.
“Is this seat taken?”
The lack of inflection in her voice and her banal expression threw him off balance. He thought of himself as a good-looking guy, and women must have also because they usually reacted positively when he approached them. He had fully expected a wry smile that silently asked, with all the empty seats you want to sit next to me? Okay, I’ll play.
“Ariel Hammond,” she answered softly.
She didn’t sound annoyed that he had intruded on her solitude. A good sign. He was about to ask where she practiced when a speaker took the podium.
He never heard a thing the lecturer said during the entire morning session. He kept glancing at her out of the corner of his eye, her delicate nose, her alluring lips, her exquisite chin, her satiny hair that fell in soft waves across her shoulders, a vision of long, curvy legs behind a skirt that was a couple of inches below her knees. She wore no makeup, but she didn’t need it. She was gorgeous. A natural beauty.
When the seminar broke, he asked her what kind of law she practiced.
“Do you litigate?”
“I handle contracts and leases.”
Her willingness to chat healed his earlier bruised ego.
“Where do you practice?” she asked.
“Rathborn United Industries. I’m head of their legal department.”
She didn’t respond.
That reaction can’t be good. Had she had a run-in with his company? He couldn’t recall any problems with a real estate developer. Maybe it happened before he got there.
“You know Rathborn United?”
She raised her head. “I know of them. They’re an armaments manufacturer.”
“Yes, the biggest.”
She gave him a tight smile. Not a smirk that showed condemnation, but more like a look that said, I’m not pleased, but I’m not going to get all bent out of shape about it.
Something was going on between her and Rathborn United, which made him hesitant to ask her for a date, but he couldn’t resist her. He steeled himself for a rebuff, but she accepted.
5. Before I let you go—any last-minute advice for newbie authors (such as myself)?
Don’t give up. I had written four mysteries before I hit my stride with The Nano Experiment. Writing like everything else comes from doing. If you are thinking of becoming a writer you can read books about writing, but I think the best thing you can do is read books by major authors. Once you have decided you want to write, while you read you will analyze how the authors create characters, scenes and conflicts.
Find a critique group that will give you honest feedback on character development, dialogue, voice, plot, conflict and setting. But don’t automatically take anyone’s critique as gospel. Remember, it’s your story. Analyze the critiques to see if they have merit. Say you have a six person group. If one person criticizes something then it may or may not be valid. But if three or four in the group say the same thing about a segment then you should take it under serious consideration.
Have a lawyer go over your contract. If you or he finds something you don’t like try to get it changed. If the publisher or agent will not change that section, then you have two choices, sign or pass.
Hire an editor, or the very least, a proof reader. It is difficult for the author to proof read his own book. He knows it too well and will begin skimming.
Since book release month is jam packed for any writer, I’ll let Richard run off. For more about the book and author, just scroll down. As always, comments are much appreciated. (And don't forget to scroll to the bottom to see the book giveaway!)
Love's Sweet Sorrow by Richard Brawer
Readers have said:
“Extremely well-crafted, with consistently excellent writing, impeccable plotting, and nicely developed characters” - Shoshana Hathaway
“I couldn’t turn the pages fast enough to see if they were able to resolve their differences or if they would split up. An enjoyable read from beginning to end.” - GBP and avid reader
Love’s Sweet Sorrow is available in a trade paperback and e-book wherever books are sold.
A true test of love and faith...
Jason Sorren’s and Ariel Hammond’s love and her Quaker faith are tested when Jason accidentally uncovers evidence that will expose arms smugglers selling weapons to terrorists.
As the chases to retrieve the evidence intensify and Ariel is forced to kill to save Jason’s life, she withdraws into a battle raging inside her, unable to reconcile whom she has been to whom she has become.
Love’s Sweet Sorrow is published by Vinspire Publishing.
About Richard Brawer
Richard Brawer writes mystery, suspense and historical fiction novels. When not writing, he spends his time sailing and exploring local history. He has two married daughters and lives in New Jersey with his wife. Read more about Richard and his books at his website: www.silklegacy.com
If you have a Kindle or a Nook, I will send “Love’s Sweet Sorrow” to the first 10 readers who respond to this blog in either Mobi format for Kindle or epub format for Nook to anyone who would like to review this book.
The only thing I ask is you read it as soon as you get it and post a review on Amazon, B & N, and if you belong, to Goodreads. I do not expect anyone to compromise their ethics because I gifted you the book. Please write what you think.
You can contact me at rich1braw(at)aol(dot)com. Please put―Lss giveaway Tara’s blog― in the subject line so I do not delete your message as spam. Please include the e-mail address you want to use to receive the attachment and which format you need.
~ Richard Brawer