Introducing Talented Author, Sarah Stuart
Continuing my Author Feature month, I would like to introduce you to Sarah Stuart, talented author of The Royal Command Series: Dangerous Liaisons and Illicit Passion. It is my pleasure to highlight her books, and to tell you a little about her life.
Sarah lives on the edge of a quiet English village where wildlife sightings are common, although becoming less so. Hunting with dogs is now illegal in the UK: it goes on in secret and incidences of this are almost impossible to prove in court. Many of her dogs are, or have been, rescues and only those who enjoy the limelight perform onstage. 50% of her royalties are donated to animal charities.
Dogs were Sarah’s opening into show business. During a period when she lived in Wales she supplied them to professional companies using Aberystwyth University’s Arts Centre Theatre during student vacations. Many musicals and plays performed there were on their pre-West End premiere run, which gave her an unrivalled opportunity to talk to directors, choreographers and the many other vital members of the backstage staff, and the performers. These ranged from actors and actresses in their first, or early, roles to worldwide superstars of stage and screen. That experience, and her association with the Northern Ballet, underpins the vivid portrayals of show business triumphs and heartbreak.
Sarah has studied English language and literature, and history, with delight since her early teens. She is a qualified adult literacy tutor and has written short stories, in addition to other resources, for her students. Her published articles have been in magazines dedicated to wildlife and dogs. The Royal Command series, her debut into full-length fiction, has been well received. Book One, Dangerous Liaisons, is a Romance Finalist in the Independent Author Network Book Awards 2015 and Book Two. Illicit Passion, gained a five star rating from Readers’ Favorite within weeks of publication.
Sarah’s hope is that readers will enjoy her novels as an escape from reality, but be left understanding that fame and fortune often comes at a high personal cost. Also, an increased perception of the threat to animals: those shot in the name of sport for trophy heads, endangered species, many poached for their fur and ivory, and tragically discarded pets.
Illicit Passion (Royal Command Book 2) by Sarah Stuart is the romantic suspense sequel that tackles the taboo subject of incest. The Book of Hours is a diary from Margaret, James IV of Scotland’s queen, which was passed through the female generations, with the message to love honestly without regard for whomever that love is bestowed upon. That is the central theme to this story, that love cannot be controlled. Characters love whom they love, even if it means being blackmailed or hated. Showbiz superstar Lisette Marsh is dealing with her own nightmare of abuse that started in the first book of this series. Eighteen years ago Lisette had an affair with her own father which produced a child, Harriet. When Harriet comes to own the Book of Hours, she struggles with the meaning of true love as she is in love with Kit, who may or may not be her twin. Trying to keep these secrets safe from the paparazzi just might bring the whole family empire crashing to the ground.
Author Sarah Stuart handles the serious nature of this theme with sensitivity and readers will love the soap opera quality of this story. The characters are larger than life, beautiful, glamorous and glitzy, but obviously have their demons and secrets. Getting to know those secrets and peeling back the layers of dirt and grit that lie beneath all of the superstar glamour is the fun of the story, and readers will really appreciate this incredible journey.
Illicit Passion is available as an eBook and is reduced from $2.99/£1.99 to 99 cents/99 pence from November 25th to December 1st.
I hope the author won’t mind my describing this book as a great soap opera, centred around the lives of a glitzy and theatrical family. It reminded me of elements of Dallas and books by Harold Robbins but at the same time remained uniquely different. It is the first book I have ever read where the taboo of incest was at the heart of the story but I thought the author handled it really well, not sensationalising it but simply making it integral to the plot, which is full of suspense. The characters are vivid and their emotions fully revealed, helping make them seem very real. This is a well written book and though I have become aware it follows on from a previous book by the author, at no time did I feel I was missing anything by not having read the first book.
I enjoyed this book for so many reasons, 26 Oct. 2015
I enjoyed this book for so many reasons. It was filled with drama, one juicy twist after another. It had mystery and action, the plot thickening at every twist and turn. The author tackles a controversial topic — incest — but she handled it so well, and I admired her guts for the way she wrote the story. She didn’t condone incest, but she managed the topic in a way that felt real and believable. Also, I had no idea I was reading the second book of a series until I saw the first book online. But it didn’t matter because the story worked as a standalone, and held my interest throughout. The author’s writing style is flawless. She did an unbelievable job at characterization in this novel. I was able to understand the characters as though I were each of them, feelings their feelings and thinking their thoughts. Major kudos to the author for this! This is a must read, filled with so much drama and intrigue that I dare you to try and put it down!!! And now….I’m dying to get my hands on the first instalment of the series!! 5 glittering stars for this book! I highly recommend this edgy read.
Dangerous Liaisons, is a Romance Finalist in the Independent Author Book of the Year 2015.
Lizzie, daughter of a wealthy Scottish laird, inherits a secret diary first owned by Margaret Tudor. Decoded entries reveal treason, the birth of a lovechild whilst Margaret was married to a reigning monarch, and a message: I direct and beseech my heirs to find love where they may. Lizzie meets Michael, a charismatic wannabe actor from the backstreets, and they fall in love. Lizzie contrives to influence a famous impresario, Clement, to cast Michael in the lead of a new musical in London’s West End. The global smash-hit leads to worldwide concert tours, leaving Lizzie to bring up two children alone. She passes the diary to their daughter, Lisette, who is influenced by Queen Margaret’s manipulative, self-seeking granddaughter. When Lisette is eighteen, Clement casts her in a musical opposite her superstar father, sparking dangerous passions and betrayals. Can Lizzie outwit the paparazzi or will the scandal of adultery and incest end in tragedy for them all?
“A Story of Men and Women who Loved Too Much (Royal Command Book 1) by Sarah Stuart is a fascinating meld of history and contemporary fiction that uses the theatre as a backdrop. Written in a crisp fast moving pace this story brings to light the human condition with all its struggles: sensuality, loss, and forgiveness to name a few. There is no lack of passion as a first touch burns on the hands of lovers, until they reconnect and in this driven passion the reader is glued to the page wanting more. And more does come but I do not want to retell the whole story here. Suffice it to say that it was an intelligently written saga of then and now, with the usage of an ancient book (written in the 1500s) – the protagonist’s heritage and legacy of love — that binds parts of this beautifully told metaphorically rich poetic prose. This well-written, well-told story does not disappoint.
Dangerous Liaisons is blessed with originally. On the surface, it is a romantic tale, yet there are far more strands to its labyrinth plot. Themes of faith and love, deception and betrayal, and, ultimately, forgiveness are woven together to create an intricate web that will keep the reader guessing as she turns the page.
Using a journal written in the 1500s, a Book of Hours, as a touchstone, the author cleverly blends history with a modern mystery, linking the past and the present, exploring themes that resonate, no matter what the age.
The background of the theatre is well evoked and brought to life through the author’s clear and precise prose. Well researched and displaying great knowledge of her subjects, Sarah Stuart has written an open, honest book, a book that is not afraid to tackle sensitive subjects, challenging the reader’s perceptions at times, which can only be a good thing.
Dangerous Liaisons is a thought-provoking novel written by a talented author, an author of originality who has interesting things to say.”
“Anxious to escape the restraints of her parents and their expectations of her future, Lizzie Cameron leaves her family home in Scotland and heads for London. A broken buckle on her bag marks her first chance encounter with Michael Marsh, who shares the same electrifying spark of attraction as Lizzie.
Michael, an amateur actor dreams of stardom – but at what price? This story combines: history, mystery, love and sensuality which all bind together to make for a great read. Dangerous Liaisons has a gripping storyline with so many unexpected twists and turns that it kept me enthralled until the very end. A must read, from a very talented author.”
Do I recommend this book? HELL YES!
For more information on Sarah’s books, click.