Thursday, July 31, 2014

INTERVIEW: Rachel Sparks plus #Giveaway!

Today we're talking to a very special lady, Rachel Sparks. Rachel just recently wrote her very first M/M romance, though she's a longtime fan of the genre! Please give her a very warm welcome and enjoy her giveaway (details at the end of the post)!

Hello Rachel and welcome to The Hat Party <3 Thank you so much for subjecting yourself to the RANDOMNESS that is a Raine O'Tierney interview! Please don your best hat, and let's get started!

A genre-specific virus has attacked you, rendering you INCAPABLE of writing your chosen genre. What do you do now?!

Well, I would cry for days, months and then beg my daughter in law Brittany to type it while I dictate it to her. It would take a lot of begging since she hates typing but I would bribe her with a kitten.

Your thoughts on libraries: GO!

I love libraries. I love the smell of books. But to be honest the local library here needs to update. They are so far behind.

Be honest. Be TOTALLY honest. How’s your handwriting?


How do you handle reviews? Would you rather have NO reviews ever or a slew of stab-ya-in-the-gut negative reviews?

To be honest on all nine of my books I only have 2 reviews. Yeah pretty sad.

If they were handing out awards for writing assets, in which category would you snag first place?
According to my daughter-in-law and my beta reader it would be villains and sex scenes. *shrugs*

If you could go back to any point in your timeline to encourage yourself, when would you go and what would you say?

Back to the year 1989 the day of my best friend’s father’s funeral; when I was sitting at Burger King with my mom before I went to work at Belk’s. I would say…don’t do it…see that guy staring at you don’t go out with him. You have a lot ahead of you and you will be a writer but you need to not go out with that guy.

You have 200 words—Make. Me. Swoon. (PLEASE!)

Joe stood against the wall at the barn dance. He wasn’t dancing with anyone. He didn’t come with anyone and he didn’t plan on dancing with anyone. He was different and he knew he was. He reckoned he knew he like men instead of girls was back 5 years ago when he was 15 and had a disastrous night with a woman.

Now looking across the dance floor, the only thing that was causing him to catch his breath and sending blood to his manhood was the cowboy heading his way. Joe licked his lips. He was coming his way. Joe was nervous. He looked down trying to calm himself and make sure he didn’t embarrass himself.

Heath knew what he wanted when he saw Joe walk into the dance. He had been noticing the way Joe had been looking at him. The young man was hot.

Heath walked up to Joe. “Hey, you want to get out of here. I mean it is hot and…”

Joe licked his lips. “Sure, this dance is dead anyway.”

They headed out to the lake. After tethering their horses, they walked over to some rocks.

Joe looked at him. “So?”

Heath reached out and cupped Joe’s face. Their eyes gazed at each other, but drifted close when their lips met in a mutual kiss.

How long do you think you’ll survive the zombie apocalypse?

Well I will be in my writer’s cave with everything I need. So I guess I would survive for a while.

What do you dream about, writing wise—deepest, most hidden writing goal! Nothing is too big or too wild.

Well my writing dream is to have my book that is coming out in December called Shattered Hearts Shattered Dreams made into a movie and the lead would be played by Matt Smith.

And finally, for THE most important question of all: what kinds of dachshunds are the BEST kind of dachshunds?

A cute and cuddly one.

~ ~ ~ 

The Love They Have For Each Other Was Strong…


Adam Colbert took Jarrod Baker up on his offer to train him in the law end of ranching contracts. Adam always believed you could never have enough education. Jarrod felt something for Adam as soon as he saw him sneaking late into the lecture. As they grow closer together and their love grows stronger, family members and outsiders want to break them apart. Will their love last or will they be forced to choose?


© 2014 Rachel M Sparks

Jarrod found Adam at Ser Toda the place where they had planned to build their house. He sat on his horse and just stared at Adam for a little bit. He sighed as he got off his horse and tethered him to a tree. He watched Adam staring out at the lake.

Adam knew Jarrod had found him. He waited for Jarrod to get closer before speaking. “I can’t do this anymore Jarrod. There are just too many scars, wounds.” Tears fell down his cheeks.
Jarrod felt like his world was collapsing and there was nothing he could do about it. “Adam…”
Adam shook his head. “Don’t, just don’t. I can’t, I’m not that strong at least not anymore.” He looked down at the cane in his hand.

Jarrod moved closer and placed his hands on Adam and turned him to face him. It broke his heart to see Adam hurting so much. “Some scars are visible and some are not. I can’t live without you Adam. To me you are beautiful, you are my everything. Every breath I take, every beat of my heart is for you.” He moved his hands up to cup Adam’s face. His thumbs wiped away the tears.

“You are not alone. I’m here. Together we can do this, we can make it. Nobody can break us apart or tear us down as long as we are together. We are stronger together. I love you Adam and I know you love me.”

Adam nodded his head.

Jarrod got closer to Adam’s mouth and then his lips covered Adam’s.

© 2014 Rachel M Sparks

Available from:


What inspired you to write To Be Whole?

A lot has happened to me over the past year. Most people know that I have IBS and sometimes it gets so bad that all I can do is just read. I love to read anyway. So, I was looking for something to read. I went through my closet and dug out some old papers from college. I found this one paper from one of my sociology classes. We had to write about something dramatic that changed our lives, something like that. We didn’t put our names on it. Well I began to read them. It was funny how I never really paid attention to this one particular one. But I was around 24 at the time and raising my son by myself. Anyway, I sat back and thought about my life. The things I believed in and was passionate about. I always had this one story burning in me. Wanting to come out. But I was too scared to write it. I asked myself why…why I don’t stand up for what I believe in. Love is love. People have a right to love who they love. So many people have tried to take away what I believe in and my right to do what I believe in. So, To Be Whole was born.

Is there anything special you’d like us to know about your book?

This story takes place in 1867. I know many people don’t like westerns but I have a love for that time period and thought it would be interesting to see how two men would be able to love each other back in that time period. You have your nosy Widow Lady who always trying to fix you up. You have your family to contend with. Then the image of what a man should be like.

What are your hopes for this title?

I hope to touch people with it. I hope people will come to see love is love. I hope they see how beautiful love is. I hope people will realize that no matter how tough life gets that when they have the love of their life with them that they can make it through anything. 

Author’s Bio:

Rachel Sparks grew up in South Carolina. With a degree in Early Childhood education and one in social work, she brings those skills to the table to write stories involving strong female characters, current social issues, a sprinkling of romance and powerful storylines.
On the 2007 Preditors and Editors Readers Poll "Factor Of Love" ranked 14 out of 201 romance novels.

Rachel has appeared on WGGS-TV 16 Dove Broadcasting in November of 2006, February 2009 and March 2010

Also in March 2008 Rachel appeared on Your Carolina WSPA-TV 7.

Social Media Links:


Comment between now and August 4th at 11:59 PM CDT with your email address for your chance to win an e-book copy of To Be Whole!


  1. This sounds my romantic m/m books

    1. Thank you so much. :D

  2. loved the interview :) and the excerpt!

    1. Thank you very much :D

  3. Hi, I enjoyed the interview and I also enjoy historical westerns as well as modern ones, partly I am interested in how the relationship will develop in that period of history and how their will survive.

    I would be interested to know more about your next book Shattered Hearts Shattered Dreams, as I can see Matt Smith having no problems playing in a MM role, as he has played the novelist Christopher Isherwood in recent TV series.

    Thanks for a chance to win this new authors work :)

    1. sorry slholland 30 {at} outlook {dot} com :D

    2. Thank you. I think the time period is interesting and the fact that back it was illegal. Jarrod being a lawyer and knowing the law but willing to risk everything for love. Shattered Hearts Shattered Dreams will be a dark romance thriller. It will be M/F and M/M :D

  4. Would lurve to win a copy.

  5. Thanks for the interview and the giveaway! I read the excerpt and left me wanting for more. By the cover and the blurb, it looks like a good story with cowboys involve.