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Debut Ruby Release: IN THE DARK by Sally Eggert

I’m sipping champagne and eating a pain au chocolat today in celebration of Ruby sister Sally Eggert’s debut release! I had the distinct pleasure of reading IN THE DARK, and let me tell you…it is fantastic. Romantic suspense fans are in for a treat.

In-The-Dark-Cover-FINAL-525x700-3A woman drawn into a dangerous game. A man who may not be what he seems. Passion raises the stakes in Sally Eggert’s electrifying novel of deception and desire.

Josie Nielsen’s anonymous life as a bartender is a world away from her classified job at a covert agency—and the terrifying night she was almost killed for her country’s secrets. That was the night Josie found out the hard way that no one had her back, especially not the man she thought she loved. But she’s pulled back in when her new boyfriend becomes the target of a government drug sting.

A sexy, laid-back barfly, Johnny Boyer is the kind of guy Josie can count on . . . to disappear before things get too complicated. But after she learns that Johnny is part of a major international trafficking operation, Josie can’t let him out of her sight. And yet even as she plunges into the mortal danger that surrounds Johnny, her attraction to him burns hotter than ever. She just isn’t sure whether she’s falling for a ruthless, cold-blooded criminal or the only man she’s ever met worth trusting with her life.

 

I sat down with Sally (well, over email, but I assume we were both sitting) to chat about her release.

AMB: I loved IN THE DARK. Seriously, there were more twists and turns in this book than I’ve seen in a really long time. How did you go about plotting something like this? (Or are you one of those crazy pantsers?) SE: Thank you so much, Amanda!  I’m glad you enjoyed it. 🙂 Oh, I’m a plotter, for sure.  Pantsers baffle and amaze me!  Before I can actually write the novel, I have to know what’s going to happen, in what order, and about how far apart.  Otherwise, I’m paralyzed.  I usually write a fairly detailed outline, although I’d hate for anyone but me to ever read one, since they tend to be sloppy, rambling pages of punctuationless stream of consciousness.  But the idea itself and the various twists and turns have to come to me sort of on their own, first.  I’ve never had much luck sitting myself down and brainstorming plot points to move the story in a particular direction.  Very jealous of people who can think that clearly about this stuff!  My “process” is much fuzzier than that. Sally_Eggert_photo_600x900-1My story ideas tend to start with one strong mental image, pretty often from a dream, but almost always disturbing enough to me that I have trouble getting it out of my head.  Usually the best way to get over something that gets under my skin like that is to build a story around it, and then write the story so that I can identify the problem and solve it.  Sometimes the process snowballs into enough of a story for a novel.  In the Dark started with the mental image of Josie sitting at the foot of her bed staring at the phone, dreading the call she is expecting, but knowing she has to answer.  She’s consumed with a blend of emotional exhaustion, resignation, and absolute dread.  That rattled around in my head for a while, then—because I’m addicted to love stories—there was a guy, then there was another guy, then a lie, then a secret, then another lie.  The final product feels whole to me now, and I honestly probably couldn’t reconstruct the order in which I decided on the plot developments.  But the planning process went more in circles than in a straight line.

Johnny was h-o-t, hot. I tend not to like bad boys generally but I might just have to make an exception. What about you? Drawn to bad boys?

SE: It’s funny, but I was just thinking about this.  I’m totally not into bad boys as a general rule, but when I realized I had written a love story about one, I had to ask myself if I was just reciting the party line on that. 😛  But I still don’t think I’m into bad boys, and I don’t think Josie is either—I think Johnny’s bad boy cred is the crutch Josie uses to talk herself into the idea that she can get physically involved with him without getting emotional, and how she stops herself from examining her feelings about him until it’s kind of too late.  The bad boy side of him makes him a convenient source of commitment-free contact, but she’s drawn to the rest of him in spite of that rough exterior rather than because of it.  I think that’s what I find so appealing about Johnny—he’s not really any one type, deep down.  There’s a lot of sincerity underneath all the fronting.

I understand you’re living in Paris now. Tres jalouse!!!! Please tell me you’re living the Bohemian dream of a garret in Montmatre? (Just kidding! Actually, I have a writer character living in a Montmarte garret in an upcoming book.) Seriously, though, tell us a bit about Paris! breakfast_at_carette-1

notre_dame_by_night-1SE: Yes, Paris!  I understand you used to live here, too, and not far from where we’re living!  It seems fitting, since we were practically neighbors for some time before I moved here, too. 🙂  Well, as expat writers living in Paris go, I’m kind of a disgrace—we live in a recently updated apartment in a fairly modern building, and our kitchen has working dishwasher and laundry machine and everything.  Not really suffering for my art, here. 😛 But Paris is amazing—no surprise there!  I haven’t done half the exploring I thought I would have by now because I already have too many favorite places that I keep wanting to go back to.  There is a truly dizzying array of tempting things to do and see!  It will take years to make any kind of a dent in our sightseeing to-do list.  But we are having some cool Paris experiences that we never did as tourists, like spending our first Christmas here.  There is something really magical about seeing the whole city decked out with strands of lights. 🙂

 

 

more paris

 You have a law degree, but if I understand correctly, you’ve never worked as an attorney. Why did you decide to leave the law?

SE:  That’s right.  I finished my law degree, but never practiced law.  I never even took the bar exam.  That’s how sure I was that I didn’t want to be a lawyer.  There were plenty of subjects at law school that I found truly fascinating—the history of the Common Law, women’s legal history—but the core of the law school curriculum fell squarely into what a Meyers-Briggs assessment would call my “non-preferred mental functions.”  I just couldn’t get excited about a lot of what I was studying, and I found out that where my mind naturally wandered in search of relief was writing fiction. Then, when I finished school, the range of law-related career paths I had to choose from pretty much left me cold.  It just wasn’t right for me, so I jumped ship.  My family was…let’s say “dismayed,” even though I was the one with the mountain of student loans to match my diploma.  Thank goodness I had the support and understanding of my wonderful husband and some classmates who had come to similar conclusions themselves!  There were definitely moments when I worried that I had basically poured an enormous amount of work down the drain to chase my writing dreams without any real reason to think they would ever come true.  But even if the good luck I’ve had in my writing life over the last few years is all I’ll ever get, I wouldn’t trade it.  I’m right where I belong.

What can we expect next from Sally Eggert? shakespeare_and_co-1

SE: I have another completed romantic suspense, which should be making an appearance fairly soon—details to come!—and I’m planning the next RS, which may now need to involve some scenes in Paris, because come on!  Otherwise, I would feel like I was wasting the best research opportunity ever.  I’m also reworking something that is more on the gothic side, which is stretching me in what is turning into an exciting new direction.  I look forward to telling you all about them as soon as they are ready for prime time, so to speak. 🙂 Thank you so much, Amanda, for hosting my release today!  And thank you to all my Ruby Sisters for the immeasurable support, advice, and friendship you have given me, without which I know I never would have made this first sale!  I’m both touched and honored to have this chance to celebrate with you.

One lucky commenter, selected at random, will win a free e-copy of Sally’s new release, In the Dark, in the winner’s choice of Kindle, Nook, or iBook format!  The winner will be announced in the comments below on Tuesday morning.

 

68 responses to “Debut Ruby Release: IN THE DARK by Sally Eggert”

  1. Congratulations on the release, Sally!! Lovely interview, both of you. And thank you for the beautiful pictures of Paris!! So excited for this debut! 😀

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  2. Congratulations, Sally! The story sounds great. I’m wishing you many, many sales!

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  3. chaco_kid/Penny says:

    Congrats! It sounds like a fun ride.
    Enjoy Europe, it is always different, but interesting. (I lived in Portugal for a couple of years.)

    Good luck with the book (though it doesn’t sound like you’ll need it! :D)

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    • Sally Eggert says:

      Thank you so much, Penny!! Oh, Portugal! I’ve only been there once, when I was living in Spain for a bit growing up, but I really loved it, and am hoping to get back there sometime soon. It’s such a beautiful country with such an amazing variety of different landscapes–Lisbon, beaches, the mountains… And learning Portuguese is pretty high on my language-learning bucket list. 🙂 We are definitely hoping to have lots of chances to explore other parts of Europe while we’re here! Thanks so much for the good wishes. 🙂

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      • Penny says:

        I love the Portuguese language, it is beautiful. And although I’ve yet to get to Scotland and Ireland – I’ve never before seen any place as green as Portugal – green on green on green on green in the spring. There are some awesome Roman ruins, stuff that is literally and positively Byzantine, castles that pop up on the hills in front of you as you drive, Port wine, and very kind, giving, and wonderful people. (Oh and lots of the beaches are gorgeous too!)

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  4. Jeannie Lin says:

    Congrats on the debut! I’d like to see your summary on the back of the book, “There was this guy. And there was this other guy. And a lie.” Going to grab this one up now. Sounds like a gripping ride.

    And thank you for the pictures of Paris. We are all very jealous. Especially of the breakfast crepes.

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    • Sally Eggert says:

      Hee hee 🙂 Thanks, Jeannie!! Yeah, there’s definitely a reason I’m not getting paid to write back-cover copy. 😛 “So, there was this thing that happened, but before that…” I’m so glad I can’t remember how my first pitch sounded.

      I’m glad you like the pictures–I wish I had a better way of sharing the food from afar!

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      • Amanda Brice says:

        Oh yes, the crepes! Man, I used to eat half my weight every day it seemed just in crepes, but I didn’t gain anything because I walked freaking EVERYWHERE!

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        • Sally Eggert says:

          Amen! I didn’t think I was one of those people who avoided taking the stairs or parking far from the door, but the amount of walking you do here really is different, and there are a lot more stairs and a lot fewer elevators/escalators. I feel like the shape of my hamstrings changed visibly in the first month we were here! 😛

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      • Jeannie Lin says:

        I actually loved that as blurb copy — or maybe a tag line: “A hot guy…and a lie.” 🙂

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  5. Amanda Brice says:

    OK, any expat writer cred you lost by your choice of housing 😉 you totally gained right back with that photo of Shakespeare & Co. I love that store so much, and it features prominently in the opening scenes of my upcoming time travel!

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    • Sally Eggert says:

      Yay! I love that place, too. 🙂

      Oh, I’m a total sucker for time-travel stories–can’t wait to read yours! Which is reminding me, my dad sent me an amazing book of photography of Paris in which they matched up images from around the city taken in the 19th century with shots of the same places as they are now. I have to look up the details. Have you seen it? Might be fun to see if any of your novel’s locations are in it!

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      • Amanda Brice says:

        Oooh, no! I haven’t! Please do look up the title because I’d love to find a copy of that.

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        • Sally Eggert says:

          Just confirmed: it’s “Piercing Time: Paris after Marville and Atget 1865-2012” by Peter Sramek. It’s pretty amazing! I wish I thought they would release an e-book version–it would be so cool to be able to carry it around on an iPad and look at the historical photographs while standing in the place they were taken! I guess I won’t hold my breath, but I clicked on the request button anyway. 😛 Maybe the book itself isn’t too heavy to lug around…

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  6. Congratulations, Sally. Your book sounds amazing. Can’t wait to dive in.

    I’ve only spent one day in Paris…and it was a Tuesday. I wanted to go to the Louvre, and of course, it’s closed on Tuesdays. I guess that means I’ll just have to go back!

    Beth

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    • Sally Eggert says:

      Thank you so much, Beth!!

      I feel your pain about the Louvre! Until a few years ago when I started getting to come here tagging along on my husband’s business trips, I had been to Paris exactly once, and it was in 1989 when they were building the pyramid at the Louvre, and the whole place was closed.

      You are definitely going to have to come back! I hope you’ll get to be here on some day other than a Monday or Tuesday–most of the museums are closed one of those two. And finally, after years of renovations, the Musee Galliera with the historical fashion collections has reopened! I haven’t made it over there yet, but for ages I thought the timing was just never going to work out.

      There’s always more to see in Paris. 🙂

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      • Amanda Brice says:

        I did study abroad in Paris in college. Although I think all my courses were wonderful, I had two in particular that were just amazing:

        Paris Dans La Literature — in this class (which was designed for American students — this was not a class in which we were mainstreamed with French students like some of my other classes) we read excerpts of great French literature so we could focus on the description of the city as told by the author. It was complete with weekly walking tours to discuss the architecture and compare it to what the author wrote.

        L’Histoire de l’Art — self-explanatory, but instead of a textbook, we visited the museums themselves. There’s something just amazing about having an assignment like this: Go to X room in the Louvre, pick a painting, and write a 500-word essay analyzing it.

        Yes, please!

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        • Sally Eggert says:

          Wow, those classes sound amazing! Where do I sign up?!? I seriously need to find some classes or something to get more systematic about learning the city and its history. I have to look into what might be open to people who (like me) are not affiliated with a school here. There’s a guy who does cool walking tours about architectural history and things like that, but I haven’t gone on one yet, and it would be great to find something a little more in-depth.

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        • Elizabeth says:

          We wanted to go in the L’Orangerie as well… and it’s closed on Tuesdays too. But they’re in a lovely part of Paris anyway. So it is probably just as well that we walked around and just enjoyed people-watching.

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  7. Lavinia Kent says:

    Sally, I am so happy for you!!! I know you’ve worked for it for years and I can’t wait to read it. I know from what I’ve seen in the past that you have amazing talent.

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    • Sally Eggert says:

      Thank you so much, Lavinia!! That’s really great of you to say. 🙂 You were one of the first people to read my stories and offer advice and encouragement, and I learned a ton about romance writing and the business side of things from you. I will always be grateful to you for that, and for your generosity with your time and the benefit of your experience!

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  8. Shoshana says:

    Happy book birthday, Sally! I can’t wait to read IN THE DARK. 🙂

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  9. Congrats on your release!!! Love the cover!

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  10. Rita Henuber says:

    Lovely interview ladies. Congrats on your book Sally and wishing you many sales. Thank you for sharing your pics of Paris. Bring back many memories.

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    • Sally Eggert says:

      Thank you so much, Rita!! I’m glad you enjoyed the pictures. 🙂 One of these days I’ll get around to organizing all the zillions of pictures I’ve taken here…

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  11. Woohoo!I’ve been waiting for this one. Congrats, sister on the new release. I can’t wait to read it. (((HUGGING and Dancing with you))))

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  12. Congratulations, Sally!

    I didn’t realize that you were writing spy intrigues! (Me, too). I gotta read this now. Have you picked up either of Nikki Navarre’s books? She’s a Ruby, too, and writes in this subgenre. I think we call it “bloodless international thriller.”

    Unless yours has blood…? 😉 People get hurt in ours, but it’s all kept mostly off the page.

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    • Sally Eggert says:

      Thank you, Jamie!! Yes, I have Nikki on my Kindle TBR pile, but haven’t gotten to her yet, which is dumb of me, I know… I love the name “bloodless international thriller”–that’s perfect! There are small amounts of blood in mine, but nothing graphic.

      I guess I haven’t been calling what I’ve written so far spy intrigues or international thrillers just because although the crimes involved cross borders, the settings are domestic and smaller scale, and the operatives are probably more what you’d call undercover agents (like FBI or DEA) than intelligence officers (like CIA). But I think we’re definitely in the same family! Actually, I have something on the drawing board that’s more in the international thriller direction, but I’m not sure it can stay bloodless…

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  13. June Love says:

    Sally, I am so thrilled for you! Your book sounds wonderful. I loved the “there was a guy” bit. I’d buy the book on that alone.

    This is an exciting time for you and I wish you much success!

    Oh, and the pictures of Paris…magnificent!

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    • Sally Eggert says:

      Thank you so much, June!! And I’m so glad the story makes a good first impression! I’m glad you enjoyed the pictures! I keep saying I’m not a real photographer, but this city is an easy subject! 🙂 I need to organize my photos into a picasa album or something to make sharing them around easier…

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  14. Robyn Pierce says:

    Congratulations! It sounds like a fantastic read! :]

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  15. Elisa Beatty says:

    Congratulations, Sally! Great blurb, gorgeous cover! I’m looking forward to this one!

    And fascinating interview from both of you–what an interest life, Sally, and mouthwatering pictures of Paris!

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    • Sally Eggert says:

      Thank you so much, Elisa!! 🙂 And I’m glad you enjoyed the interview and pictures! Actually, as I was writing the answer to Amanda’s question about plotting, and thinking about how the idea came about in the first place, I was reminded of your blog post “What is your What?” That really stuck with me–you put your finger right on the kind of thing that gets me writing in the first place, and keeps me going until the novel is finished. My “what” for this story was that mental/emotional image of my main character waiting for that phone call. As I kept writing, it also grew to include her blend of conflicting emotions during a key moment later on with Johnny. Thank you so much for sharing the Playwright’s Workbook with us! It has really helped me zero in on where a new project is headed, or what it might be missing.

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  16. Congratulations on the your new release, Sally. Love the cover and the premise. Your picture are gorgeous. Thanks for sharing!

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  17. Addison Fox says:

    Happy Book Birthday, Sally!!!!!

    Hugs,
    Addison

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  18. Sally Eggert says:

    And the random number generator has awarded the free e-copy of IN THE DARK to…(drumroll)…Anne Marie Becker!!! *claps and throws confetti*

    Thank you so much to everyone for your kind words and congratulations, and for taking the time to be here to help celebrate my debut release!!

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  19. Sally, I’m really really late, but I had to pop in to say huge congratulations on your release (and on your move to Paris). Your cover is absolutely gorgeous. Can’t wait to read the book!

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  20. Liz Talley says:

    I’m really, really late, too, but I want to say congrats. The cover looks great, the pic of Paris makes me green and I can’t wait to nab a copy of the book. Congrats!

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  21. What a great post!!! Congrats on your release, Sally! So so so in love with your cover. Sigh…

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    • Sally Eggert says:

      Thank you so much, Darynda!! 🙂 And I’m glad you like the cover! I love it too! The Loveswept/RH cover art team did such an amazing job, and they were great to work with!

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