Sandra Byrd+Deadly Giveaway

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Mostly YA Fab Author Summer Extravaganza (MYFASE) has been so much fun. We wrap it up with mega author Sandra Byrd, who like Lisa Bergren, Kristen Billerbeck, and myself writes for the womenfolk as well as teens. Last time we discussed fave book covers, I mentioned Sandra's To Die For and knew I wanted to talk to her about this book. Sandra is also giving away a copy of the book, so stay tuned for instructions. In the meantime, welcome Sandra!!!

Tell us about To Die For.

To Die For is the story of Meg Wyatt, pledged forever as the best friend to Anne Boleyn since their childhoods on neighboring manors in Kent. When Anne's star begins to ascend, of course, she takes her best firend Meg along for hte ride. Life in the court of Henry VIII is thrilling at first, but as Anne's favor rises and falls, so does Meg's. And though she's pledged her loyalty to Anne no matter what the test, Meg just might lose her greatest love–and her own life–because of it.

Meg's childhood flirtation with a boy on a neighboring estate turns to true love early on. When he is called to follow the Lord and be a pirest, she turns her back on both the man and his God. Slowly, though, both woo her back through the heady times of hte English reformation. in the midst of it, Meg finds her place in history, her own calling to the Lord she must follow, too, with consequences of her own. Each character in the book is tested to figure out what love really means, and what, in this life, is worth dying for.

Sometimes I think I would die for ice cream. I'm guessing Meg had stronger convictions. I can respect that.
Tell us how fiction and truth intersect in this tale.

Though much of Meg's story is fictionalized, it is drawn from known facts. The Wyatt family and the Boleyn family were neighbors and friends, and perhaps even distant cousins. Meg's brother, Thomas Wyatt, wooed Anne Boleyn and ultimately came very close to the axe blade for it. Meg was Anne's Mistress of the Robes–she got to buy all of those amazing gowns! Two Wyatt sisters attended Anne at her death, and at her death, she gave one of them her jeweled prayer book. That sister was Meg.

51vAsj0Wl8L._SL500_AA300_Where did the inspiration for this book come from?

As a lifelong Tudorphile and historical novel devourer, I was the nerdy girl in the corner devouring a Victoria Holt or Jean Plaidy book, pages stained with Dorito dust, as I sat and read for hours. I remember my grandmother looking through my books, making sure they were okay for me to read.

You also have written for teens.

I've loved writing for teens, and I still do, and because I admire France adn enjoy baking, the French Twist series was pure pleasure to write. But my heart and head has always been firmly in historicals as a reader. Right now I want to spend my fiction-writing time writing what I most love to read. That would be historical novels based on true people and/or events.

Tell us about your research process. What was your most interesting discovery?

I've been reading Tudor books my entire life, but I have help off on reading any Tudor fiction while planning and writing this series so my historical conjectures didn't riff off anyone else's. I did, however, read about two dozen nonfiction books, lots of historical papers which my historical researcher dug up from the British Library and other places. And of course, I spent two week sin England, visiting Hever Castle and Hampton Court and hanging out in the Tower of London. Rough life.

Yes, I feel really sorry for you, having to travel all that way for research. While doing this burdensome research, did you discover anything unexpected?

I loved, for example, the Eavesdroppers, little faces,almost like softened gargoyles, carved into the high eaves of the Great Hall at Hampton Court Palace. Both men's and women's faces; they looked soft and sweet. But they were there to remind courtiers that someone was always listening, there was always a secondary audience to anything said at court, and that behind a pleasant face coudl be a heart of malice. I think it's interesting, too, that being a servant or highborn attendant was a position of honor. Your status wasn't determined by the job or tasks assigned to you, but by the rank of hte person you served. That's good for us to remember, too, as Christians.

What's the most important theme in the book?

There are some people, and some things, worth dying for. You might be called upon to do just that, so choose wisely and live well.

If they made To Die For into a movie, who would your cast be?

Jordana Brewster as Anne. Alexis Bledel as Meg. Toby Stephens as Henry, and Ryan Reynods as Will. (ScarJo, what were you thinking?)

Seriously, was she nuts? And then to date Sean Penn? Scarlet…girl. So what are your favorite songs this week?

“Unbreakable” by Bon Jovi and “Old Man” by Redlight King.

Interesting picks! I didn't see those coming. Okay, Sandra, you stumble upon a time machine. The very one Lisa T. Bergren did not want to climb into because she likes her 2011. Where does it take you?

Much too easy. England, circa 1375-1700. Anything before then is too far back, anything before is practically modern day!

Where can readers find you?
Come visit me at www.sandrabyrd.com, where I promise not to serve roast swan or jellied eels if you walk through my castles and palaces page.

Thank you so much for visiting us, Sandra. I feel smarter just talking to you and am so excited to read To Die For. Readers, to get in the running for a copy of To Die For, you have through Sunday July 17th to leave a comment and answer this question: WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE SONG THIS WEEK? Winner drawn from your brilliant responses and announced July 18th.

AND don't forget, if you comment on all six MYFASE blog posts (June 27-July 11),  you'll ALSO be in the running for an ARC of There You'll Find Me AND a $25 dollar Barnes and Noble card, in addition to any other books you win these two weeks of book/author fabulousness.  Winner of THAT contest announced July 18th as well. Lots to give away around here, and thanks for joining us for this summer of freebies!


Click Here to Leave a Comment Below 62 comments
Katy - July 12, 2011

I’m not sure what attracts me to your books so much, Sandra–it’s either the time period you write in or the beautiful and intriguing covers–but I would LOVE to get my hands on a copy, lol! To Die For looks REALLY good! 😀

Favorite song this week? That’s an easy one! I’ve just been replying it for the last few days, lol! I just discovered Nickleback and they’re song, “Savin’ Me”, and really like it! I’ve played it at least ten times today! 😛

Thanks for the chance to win!

~ Katy

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Hannah - July 13, 2011

Skycraper by Demi Lovato has been on repeat ALL day. That girl can sang! Thanks for having this MYFASE contest, its been fun! 🙂

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macy muray - July 13, 2011

I’m a country girl and my favorites are Taylor swift, Carrie Underwood, and Keith Urban. (I get to see Taylor in concert in October!!!!!!!!!) Anyways this week my favorite song would have to be Carrie Underwoods “songs like this” you have to listen to it! I love it! Thanks for MYFASE Jenny! Im so sad this is the last post on it 🙁

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Joy - July 13, 2011

Spelling error. The frist song I listed was Use Me Here by Everybody Duck.

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~Prism~ - July 14, 2011

“Hello” by Shonlock! 🙂 It’s so relaxing yet danceable

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K. Floodle - July 14, 2011

Just a kiss!! Love Lady A

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Alli - July 14, 2011

“Skyscraper” by Demi Lovato I have never really liked her songs but this one is soooooo powerful and she sings it so well.

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Elizabeth - July 15, 2011

My favorite song this week would have to be “If I was Jesus” by Paul Colman. Thanks Jenny for MYFASE!

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Em Sto - July 15, 2011

“Honey Bee” by Blake Shelton, though my favorite song switches daily! 😀

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Rachelle Rea - July 15, 2011

Fantastic interview! I will definitely be keeping my eye open for this novel ~ I love the Tudors! Honestly, my local library has seen me check out one biography on Elizabeth I (my favorite historical figure becuase she’s so…well, Elizabeth!) that I had to buy it!

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Molly - July 16, 2011

hold me together by Royal Tailor! 🙂 its just so darn cachy! ive been singing it like all day haha 😉

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D Elizabeth - July 16, 2011

Favorite song this week is “How he Loves Us” by the David Crowder Band. So beautiful.
Oh and on a different Genre, love “Far Away” by Lecrae

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