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
Cheryl Olson - July 11, 2011

I just went to his concert Sunday night and the song that I will be humming all week long is John Mark McMillan’s “How He Loves”. (Also sung by David Crowder 🙂

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Suzanne Schaffer - July 11, 2011

I really like Katy Perry’s Firework song, it’s catchy. The video is repulsive though, I’ve only heard the song a few times and it makes me smile.

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Dakota - July 11, 2011

I’m glad you asked “this week” cause my favorite song changes every week. This week it’s Suitcases by Dara Maclean, or The Candy Wrap by Chris August.
I’ve read Sandra Byrd’s French Twist series;amazing!

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Kate Meyer - July 11, 2011

My favorite song this week would have to be….The SUV Silly Song from VeggieTales!! Haha it is a really fun song , especially when one of my guy friends sing the girl’s part!
I also love Set The World On Fire by Britt Nicole 😀

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Lisa Carter Sweet Tea with a Slice of Murder - July 11, 2011

Old song but can’t get it out of my head this week after watched the video yet again—Bulletproof by La Roux.

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Jenny - July 11, 2011

Fingerprints of God. It is an older song of Steven Curtis Chapman, but I love the lyrics and the message they deliver to women (young & old alike) who have had esteem issues connected with our looks. And I doubt many woman have avoided that problem.

Jenny – Read the 1st 2 Katie Parker books over the weekend. Dying to start the 3rd, but I must do something that resembles housework first so I don’t read with a guilty conscience. I have enjoyed laughing out loud and can’t wait to see what happens to Katie. They are great books, & when my girl is a bit older I look forward to adding them to her reading pile.

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Lauren - July 11, 2011

My favorite song this week…maybe “Glow” by Britt Nicole. Or “Me, Myself, and Time” by Demi Lovato. Yeah, probably those two. 🙂 Can’t wait!

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Judy - July 11, 2011

My favorite song this week is by “Selah” called Wonderful, Meriful, Saviour!

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Mississippi Mama - July 11, 2011

Favorite song right now is Imogen Heap’s just-released “Propeller Seeds.” 🙂

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bookwyrm14 - July 11, 2011

My favorite song…hmmm…do you mean the song that won’t get out of my head? or a song I really like? They are two different things, actually. Just in case you didn’t know. 🙂

The song I can’t get out of my head is “Love You Like a Love Song” by Selena Gomez. I saw the music video on Disney Channel and it was so disturbing that it was unforgettable.

But my favorite songs are “The Redeemer” by Sanctus Real and “Blessings” by Laura Story. The words to these songs are so uplifting and filled with truth that when I sing them, I literally feel the presence of the Lord surrounding me in a warm embrace.

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Rachel - July 11, 2011

I’m gonna have to say…Maroon 5’s “Moves Like Jagger”. It’s catchy and features Adam Levine 🙂 It’s also been on repeat on my iPod since he performed it on The Voice.

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Liv - July 11, 2011

Everybody Loves Me, by OneRepublic!!!! 😀 Love it!

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Clare - July 11, 2011

I love practically all kinds of music, but this week my favorite is Beautiful One by Jeremy Camp–amazing! I love all his songs! 🙂

MYFASE has been so much fun, Jenny! Thank you so much!

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Tarrah - July 11, 2011

‘My Dilemma’ by Selena Gomez. Even though I’m not a young adult, I’m a grown-up young adult and still like the occasionally teenage stuff. 🙂

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Casey - July 11, 2011

Favorite song?? You really expect me to make all my other favorite songs feel bad and pick just ONE???

Well, if I must it would probably be Third Day’s latest, I Trust in Jesus. FABULOUS song!! Got it humming in my head now. 🙂

And I loove the cover of this book. Definately to die for. 😉

caseym.writer(@)gmail.com

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Kelly - July 11, 2011

This week my favorite song is “Tonight” with TobyMac and Jon Cooper. I can’t help it. It stays in my head all day and helps me get the dishes done REALLY quickly.

Clare – “Beautiful One” by Jeremy Camp is one of my ultimate favorite songs. I listened to it over and over again when I was up early with one of my babies. That song always bring that time back.

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Katers - July 11, 2011

To Die For looks like an interesting read! Thank you for sharing it!

I’ve been loving Give’em Hell by Little Hurricane this week. That song and Baby by Relient K (cover song).

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Catrina - July 11, 2011

I have a few songs on my repeat playlist this week..
See No More by Joe Jonas
Love you Like a Love Song by Selena Gomez
Me With You by Jennette McCurdy
My Dilemma by Selena Gomez
We Own the Night by Selena Gomez
and Worldwide by Big Time Rush

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Madi A. - July 11, 2011

“Blessings” by Laura Story
Sounds like a great book!:)

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Sarah - July 11, 2011

My favorite song this week hmmm, well I’m glad u said this week bc my favorite song changes on a regular basis.
This week I’d have to say Gone by Switch foot & Hero by Trip Lee I’d have to say hero bc I love the music video & the backup vocalist. And gone is just…. catchy.
Both are Christian artist of course(;

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Laura J - July 11, 2011

The book looks great. I think I gained ten pounds when I read the French Twist series….I always wanted to eat!

My favorite song…that’s hard. Stronger by Mandisa has been in my head lately.

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Erin McFarland - July 11, 2011

Joshua Radin tunes…good stuff!
These interviews have been fantastic Jenny!

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Kristin - July 11, 2011

My favorite song this week has been “I Thought I Saw Your Face Today,” by She&Him.

~Kristin

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Tonya - July 11, 2011

There are tons of songs I like this week 🙂
“rolling in the deep” Adele
“blessings” by Laura’s story
“a little bit stronger” by Sara Evans
“if I die you” & “postcard from Paris” by the band perry
“country girl” by Luke Bryan
I could keep going, but I wont

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Alexis R. - July 11, 2011

My favorite this week, if I have to pick one would be Gym Class Hereos- Stereo hearts ft Adam Levine. So good!

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Kiersten - July 11, 2011

My favorite this week is Keith Urban’s Sweet Thing…

After 18 years Texas is finally rubbing off on me, but tell me the song isn’t completely adorable and annoyingly-stuck-in-my-head-for-days addicting.

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Lauren - July 11, 2011

My favorite song this week (:)) is Hold Me by Jamie Grace featuring TobyMac! Great song!!

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Sandra Byrd - July 11, 2011

Love all of your songs, too! Thanks for inviting me to your blog, Jenny B. And I hope you’ll all give the book a try – even if you don’t yet like historicals. It’s also a story of friendship, faith, and romance.

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Bethany Ellis - July 11, 2011

I grew up on Sandra’s YA books… loved them. Looking forward to reading To Die For.

My favorite song this week is a tie between Hosea’s Wife and CS Lewis song, both by Brook Fraser.

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Jess - July 11, 2011

This week it would definitely be Can’t Get Over You by Anthem Lights!

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Carla - July 11, 2011

I make pita pizzas for my family. My daughter absolutely LOVES them. Her favorite. We had them yesterday. She said I was her pizza angel and started singing veggie tales “pizza angel”to me. Made me feel special so I guess it’s “my”song this week. Sandra Byrd is another “to read” added to my list! Thanks for the great intro!

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Joy - July 11, 2011

(This list isn’t done in any specific order) 🙂
Use me hear-Everybody Duck
You and Me-Lifehouse
Backstabber-Disciple
And I gotta admit, I’ve caught myself humming Selena Gomez’s Who Says

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capillya - July 11, 2011

My favorite song of the week is Pretty Girl Rock by Keri Hilson. I’m the kind of OCD person who can play a song over and over and OVER as if I’ve heard it for the first time. I try my darndest not to annoy anyone else whenever I find a “new favorite song.” =)

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Reagan - July 11, 2011

Shark in the Water by VV Brown. I’m not exactly sure why, I just can’t stop playing it first everytime I get into my car 🙂

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Katie P. - July 11, 2011

Favorite Song is:

You Are More by Tenth Avenue North. It has amazing lyrics!!!

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Joy Andrea - July 11, 2011

My most favorite song this week is Summertime (sung by Ella Fitzgerald). It’s a great lullaby too!

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HopefulLeigh - July 11, 2011

I can’t narrow it down to a specific song but I am obsessed with Josh Garrels’ CD. Seriously can’t stop listening to it.

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Jess - July 11, 2011

David Crowder Band’s “O, for a Thousand Tongues to Sing”. Every few years I’ll hear it and re-fall in love with it!

Thanks for a fun round of interviews! Loved Sandra Byrd’s French Twist series…and loved “meeting” her today!

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Amy - July 11, 2011

Right now I’m listening to a lot of Bebo Norman (OK, I always am), but “Into the Day” is my fave song of the moment.

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Nicole - July 11, 2011

I loved the French Twist series! Especially since i’m from the Seattle area =)
I don’t have one favorite song, I have a few
Faceless by RED
Rolling In The Deep by Adele
Use Somebody by Kings of Leon
Dear X, You Don’t Own Me by Disciple

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Felicia - July 12, 2011

I would have to say my favorite song at the moment, and also the most played song on my Ipod is Jar of Hearts by Christina Perri. Its a little bit of a darker song, but I really LOVE Christina Perri’s voice!!!

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Stephanie - July 12, 2011

Jenny,

I just wanted to let you know I’m about half way through the Katie Parker series – and had to take a quick break to just tell you how much I’m enjoying it. I specifically saved this series for just this week when I’m in one of my happiest places, on vacation – and your books are just bringing me so much joy. I am literally laughing out loud and have to tell myself that the whole room doesn’t need me to read aloud funny parts, especially when my sister plans to read the series when I’m done.

You have such a gift – and I can only imagine the impact you’ve had on not only all of your readers, but all those students blessed enough to have you as a teacher.

I also love that you have profiled fellow authors here on the blog. I’ve read Erynn’s interview – she’s so fun and I also follow her blog. I plan on reading through the others, but frankly I’ve got this book series that I’m way more obsessed with getting through first. =)

So, thank you for sharing your gifts with all of us. I’m loving it!!!

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Jenny - July 12, 2011

I’ve enjoyed many of Sandra’s books and can’t wait to read To Die For.

My song of the moment is Phillips, Craig & Dean’s “Mercy Came Running”.

Thanks for all the great interviews and the chance to win, Jenny. Blessings!

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Helen Loss - July 12, 2011

Favorite song this week: Rocketeer by Far East Movement!

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Cara Putman - July 12, 2011

This sounds amazing, Sandra. Loved your adult series. Song this week: From the Inside Out

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Sheri - July 12, 2011

I love the song Blessings by Laura Story!!

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Christi Wiggins - July 12, 2011

I’ve been listening to As I Lay Dying’s The Only Constant is Change a lot lately.

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Rachel - July 12, 2011

My favorite song this week…hmm. Changes just about daily, but right now I love every song on the album “Listen to the Sound,” Building 429. If I had to choose one, I’d probably pick “You Save Me.”

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Allison - July 12, 2011

That is an extremely hard question. I love so many songs. Right now, one of my favorites is Homeboy by Eric Church.

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Katherine - July 12, 2011

My favorite song right now is bang bang bang by christina perri… and I am looving all of Adele’s stuff and also Charlotte Sometime and Ingrid Michaelson…

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