Friday, October 5, 2012

Wicked Haunt-o-Ween with Sarah Ballance


KAREN:  With six children and a husband to care for, this multitask gal, has time to spins tales of intrigue and unforgettable love. Let's welcome Sarah Ballance! She's here to share some ghoulish delights to snack on while you indulge in your favorite Halloween story. She's also giving away a paperback copy HAWTHORNE to one lucky trick or treater (Worldwide offer). This book has received some raving reviews. You'll want to add this one to your goody bag. So don't be late to enter the giveaway!  CONTEST END OCT. 12TH AT MIDNIGHT.

I am so excited to be here! My haunting paranormal novella, HAWTHORNE, is extra bunches of fun during the Halloween season, and because it’s a sweet romance it’s perfect for everyone.  And it’s for that reason I’m pleased to offer a PAPERBACK COPY giveaway to one lucky reader (Worldwide). If you’d like a chance to win, please be sure to leave your email address when you comment. I’d also love for you to sneak over to my blog @  and follow me. I give away a $10 gift card to one of my subscribers every week, so it’s a not a bad place to hang out. And I seldom bite. Ahem. Anyway, more on HAWTHORNE in just a bit. First, there’s food!

Halloween is a favorite holiday around my house, but as much as I love horror and terrifying things, we keep things fun. (But just wait until the kids are older. Just WAIT! LOL.) We have a party each year on Halloween, and thanks to our homeschooling gig it’s an all day affair complete with spider webs so thick we can hardly walk through the family room. Of course, everyone’s favorite part is the food, and today I’d love to share a couple of our favorite recipes.

This simple twist on deviled eggs is a blast to make. To begin, boil eggs until hard. Then crack the shells in several places but do NOT remove the shell. Instead, place the cracked eggs in a bowl of water dyed red with food coloring and leave them in the refrigerator overnight. The next day, when you peel the eggs they should be deliciously “bloodshot.” Slice eggs in half and remove the innards, then smash the yolks with mayonnaise and relish, if desired. Mix with green food coloring, then refill the eggs. Top with a sliced black olive to complete the eyeball look.

Yes, more eyes. There’s something extra creepy about having your food stare back at you! This easy appetizer can be offered in two ways—one for more sophisticated palates, and one for those who prefer to keep it basic. The more convincing version is to top glistening marinated mozzarella balls with thinly sliced olive “pupils.” If the marinade is too tangy for your crowd, make bite size cubes from blocks of mozzarella or monterey jack cheese. Cut off the corners to round them off—someone is sure to enjoy the niblets!

This inversion of a sandwich wrap is just as easy as it is disgusting. To begin, slice a tortilla or piece of pita bread in strips. Wrap each strip with ham or another lunch meat until you’ve rolled it into a fingers-width. Add a “fingernail” with a small piece of cheese. For extra fun, dye mayo or ranch dressing red with food coloring for dipping.

Melt white chocolate, then dip large pretzel sticks halfway down their length. Repeat several times until there’s a thick layer of chocolate over each one. After the chocolate sets, use black icing or gel to add two eyes and a mouth to complete this sweet ghostly treat.

And now that you’ve indulged your “spooky” tooth, how about a look at my featured book?
Remember, one reader will win a paperback copy, so for a treat that’s scary-good, be sure to enter to win!


After a terrifying encounter with the unexplained, it took ten years and the news of her grandmother’s passing for Emma Grace Hawthorne to return to her childhood home.   She sought peace in saying a proper goodbye, but what she found was an old love, a sordid family history, and a wrong only she could right.

Living in the shadow of Hawthorne Manor, Noah Garrett never forgot about Emma Grace.  In a house full of secrets, his search for missing documents revealed a truth that could cost him everything.  What he found gave Emma the freedom to walk away from the mansion, her heart free and clear, but at what price to Noah?



The car slowed to a stop and a decade’s worth of memories tumbled onto the sun-blanched asphalt.

Hawthorne Manor.

The hand-painted sign hadn’t changed in years. In the thick, damp air filling the Louisiana landscape, the wood display remain inexplicably unaffected. There it sat—every meticulously scripted letter as crisp and clean as the stark white walls of the manor it lauded, oblivious to the passage of time.

Emma Hawthorne tensed in the seat of the Mustang convertible, staring at her past with ice sluicing her spine. Anywhere else, the view would have been gorgeous. The drive, lined on both sides with live oak laden with Spanish moss, was the South personified. At the end, Hawthorne Manor held court. Pristine, proud, the boastful antebellum home beamed, lording over its acreage.

But it harbored the unspeakable. No amount of time could erase what happened to her on the other side of the expanse of green lawn. Nothing could change what she’d seen there. Some might say she was crazy—that she’d imagined or invented the whole ordeal—but her scars were all the proof she needed. Whether the shadows lurking behind the façade of the picturesque plantation were real or born of an overactive imagination, there was no way she was going back into that house.

Especially not for a dead woman.

Sparing a glance in the rearview, Emma steeled herself against a trembling in her hands that threatened to overtake her body. She released a pent-up breath, her heart settling into a less acrobatic rhythm at the thought of leaving. She didn’t have to stay here.

Let the South win this one. She was going home.

A split second after she decided to go, something caught her eye. She blinked, trying to see through the swaying canopy of leaves and moss, certain a figure stood atop the widow’s walk straddling the roofline of the house. But no one—

Something brushed the car, rocking it. Swallowing panic, Emma tried to tear her focus from Hawthorne Manor, but fear kept her from looking anywhere else. Time and distance hadn’t done her any favors; she was a fool for coming anywhere near this place, much less with the ragtop down.

The car rocked harder. The something refused to be ignored.

Fighting the grip of panic tightening her throat–fighting the ghosts of her past—Emma forced herself to look away from the house, toward the intrusion over her left shoulder.

The first thing she saw was an aged set of gnarled fingers resting on the door, blue automotive paint showing through an ugly translucence.

The second was the face—withered, centurion, and expressionless. Haunting.



Emma screamed.

CONTEST: If you’d like a chance to win a copy, please comment with your email address! Thanks, and I look forward to hearing from you! Thanks so much for allowing me to be a part of your “Haunting” day! CONTEST ENDS: OCT 12 AT MIDNIGHT. GOOD LUCK!
**Offer for Worldwide except if shipping is more than $15. The author reserve the right to substitute an ebook.

You can find Sarah Ballance at:


Karen Michelle Nutt said... Best Blogger Tips


Thanks so much for being here today. I do love your book covers! Were they all you imagined them to be?

Katrina Gillian said... Best Blogger Tips

Hi Sarah,

Love the ghoulish treats! Your books sounds really good, too.

Thanks so much for the chance to win a copy. Happy Halloween!

katrinagillian (at) yahoo (dot) com

Nightingale said... Best Blogger Tips

I'm having a masquarade dinner party for Halloween and these recipes will be great! Thanks for sharing. From your excerpt--and the haunting cover--Hawthorne looks like a book I'd enjoy.

Anonymous said... Best Blogger Tips

thank you for the recipes! book sounds great!

LisaRayns said... Best Blogger Tips

This book looks so good! When I saw the cover, I barely made it to the recipe. I love it!

Thanks for the chance to win. Followed your blog.

Jean MP said... Best Blogger Tips

Thanks for all the fun recipes. Book sounds really good.
skpetal at hotmail dot com

Sarah Ballance said... Best Blogger Tips

@Karen, thanks again for having me! I'm simply honored. ;c) As for my covers, I've been able to work closely with the artist for HAWTHORNE (who also made my other covers with the exception of those for Noble) and and she was nice enough to let me pick and choose. That said, I NEVER expected anyone could bring those visions to life as well as she did. Elaina Lee is AWESOME!

@Katrina - Thank you so very much for your comment. I appreciate your enthusiasm!

@Nightingale - Oooh, the party sounds wonderful! I hope you guys have a blast. Enjoy the goodies!

@Anon 8:23 - Thank you for commenting and entering!

@Lisa - What a great compliment! ;c) Thanks so much!

@Jean - Thank you, and it's great to see you again!

Sarah J. McNeal said... Best Blogger Tips

I loved your deviled eyeballs idea. Very clever.
Emma Hawthorne is a woman of great taste since she drives a convertible Mustang. Oh, the envy. Of course I want to know what that terrifying incident in her past was. A very enticing introduction to your book.
I wish you all the best, Sarah.
starcriter at yahoo dot com

Sarah Ballance said... Best Blogger Tips

@ Sarah J. M. - My middle name starts with a J. Too funny! ;c) Thanks so much for your lovely compliments and for your interest in the story!

bn100 said... Best Blogger Tips

I enjoyed the excerpt. The book sounds good.


Cathy said... Best Blogger Tips

Hi Sarah,

Love the recipes! I'm always looking for something quick and easy.

Your books sounds great.


Lovely event you have going here!!
cnickol at verizon dot net

Sarah Ballance said... Best Blogger Tips

@BN - Hi, and thank you for your comment!

@Cathy - Thanks so much!

SiNn said... Best Blogger Tips

waves hii Sarah Ive been wanting to read your book forever now sounds awesome and is on my wish list ty for stopping in

Sarah Ballance said... Best Blogger Tips

@SiNn - Wow, what a great thing to hear! I hope you'll have a chance to check it out. Thanks so much for your comment!

Gale Nelson said... Best Blogger Tips

thank you for a great giveaway. I am looking forward to reading this book it sounds great.

Sarah Ballance said... Best Blogger Tips

@Gale, thank you! I hope you'll have the chance to check it out. ;c)

Sarah Ballance said... Best Blogger Tips

Thanks again to ALL of you for your wonderful comments. I put in charge of picking a winner, and the honor goes to Lisa Rayns. Congratulations, Lisa! I'll be in touch. Have a Happily Haunting Halloween everyone, and thank you!