Illusion of Love Blog Tour

About the Book

Book:  Illusion of Love

Author: Sarah Hamaker

Genre: Romantic Suspense

Release date: October 2020

A suspicious online romance reconnects an agoraphobe and an old friend.

Nursing a hurt leg, psychiatrist Jared Quinby arrives in Culpeper, Virginia, on a case for the FBI. The investigation leads him to the doorstep of his childhood best friend, Mary Divers. Meeting Mary again is the one bright spot in his life.

Suffering from agoraphobia, Mary has at last found love with online beau David Kline and dares to dream of a future with him. Then David reveals he will be leaving the United States to become a missionary in Peru. Determined to stop living in fear, she accepts David’s marriage proposal, even though she’s never met him face-to-face.

As Jared’s case intersects with Mary’s online relationship, the more he uncovers, the more he fears for her safety. Jared tries to convince Mary not all is right with David, but she refuses to believe him. When tragedy strikes, Mary pushes Jared even farther away.

Will Jared convince Mary of the truth—and of his love for her—before it’s too late?

Click here to get your copy!

About the Author

Sarah Hamaker has been spinning stories since she was a child, with nonfiction and romantic suspense books published. Her stories have also appeared in several Chicken Soup for the Soul volumes. She’s a member of ACFW and ACFW Virginia Chapter, as well as the president of Capital Christian Writers Fellowship. Her podcast, “The Romantic Side of Suspense,” can be found wherever you listen to podcasts. Sarah lives in Virginia with her husband, four children, and three cats.

More from Sarah

Have you ever heard a story from a friend (or a friend of a friend) and thought it sounded more like fiction than reality? That’s what happened to me years ago when I heard first-hand a story about a woman who had been deceived by someone close to her.

Even while I grieved with my friend about the lies that had been told at her expense, I also admit to thinking, “That would make a fantastic storyline.” A couple of years later, I asked the friend for permission to use the basic outline of that story for what became Illusion of Love. To keep this friend’s identity a secret—and to avoid giving away the ending of my book—that’s all I can reveal to you.

However, what I can talk about is how interesting people’s reaction to the based-on-a-true story aspect has been along this book’s journey to publication. Most expressed their conviction that something similar could never happen to them. Part of that disbelief comes from our faith in our own ability to ferret out the truth from those around us.

Unfortunately, time and again, it’s been proven that we can be terrible when it comes to judging the true character of others! This is why people get away with pretending to be royalty or people lose money to someone’s Ponzi scheme or why those in authority can often get away with heinous crimes for years (#MeToo, Catholic priest sexual scandals are too horrific examples). Along the way, you’ll find people who wanted to think they wouldn’t be deceived…and were or who overlooked signs that in hindsight pointed right at the lie or perpetrator.

Why has this kept happening over and over again throughout history? I think it boils down to the simple fact that we want to believe we have excellent judgment when it comes to the character and intentions of others, whether we meet those people face to face or online. We also have a tendency, especially if we’re female, to ignore our gut when it tells us to be careful or wary of someone or a particular situation.

Especially when there’s real danger involved—in cases of potential abuse or criminal activity—it’s important to be prepared as much as we can be. One of the best books on this topic is Gavin de Becker’s The Gift of Fear. It’s a book I’ve recommended my teenage daughters and sons read before heading to college. What Gavin does is break down why our initial impressions can be wrong and why paying attention to our gut—that unconscious part of ourselves—can be crucial to staying safe, even if it means we sometimes offend or make people mad or upset. If only Mary, my heroine in Illusion of Love, had read The Gift of Fear, things might have turned out differently for her.

Why do you think we believe in our own judgment when it comes to people?

Interview with Sarah

  • When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?

I’ve always wanted to write. As a kid, I would create these little “books” of poems and short stories. One year, my best friend and I talked my mom into typing up our stories and poems using carbon paper (back in those pre-computer days), so we would each have a copy. We then illustrated our work and put it into a report format with a construction paper cover. I still have my first “book.”

  • Where do you get your information or ideas for your books?

Real life coupled with my imagination. Like many writers, I hear about something interesting and think, “What if…” and I’m off and running. My first romantic suspense novel, Dangerous Christmas Memories, was based on a news article I read about two celebrities who married in Las Vegas, but because it was one of those Vegas drive-through wedding chapels, didn’t think it was “real.” Fast-forward a decade or more, and the man found out he was already married when his attorneys were getting his finances in order before his upcoming wedding. I based Illusion of Love on a true story that happened to a friend of mine. I can’t go into the details, both to protect her identity and the story, but if I told you what really happened, you wouldn’t believe it actually was true.

  • What do you like to do when you’re not writing?

I enjoy reading, mostly romantic suspense, but I also enjoy British mysteries and historical (especially World War I era and right after) mysteries, as well as nonfiction books too. I also relax by knitting while watching–you guessed it!–British and American crime shows, usually with one of our three cats on my lap. It can be challenging to knit and keep the yarn away from busy paws at times.

  • Do you have any suggestions to help someone become a better writer? If so, what are they?

Write, write and write. Find critique partners and exchange your work. Learn from what they have to say about your writing. Attend writer conferences and read craft books, attend webinars and join writing communities. You can’t get better unless you work at it–just like with a sport or musical instrument, practice is what makes the difference from staying at the beginner level or moving to a more advanced level. Writing is hard work, but for those of us called to write, it’s both a privilege and an awesome responsibility.

  • What do you think makes a good story?

Compelling characters with human flaws working toward a goal. In romantic suspense, that means staying alive while trying to figure out who’s trying to keep them from unraveling the mystery. I love writing romantic suspense because of the way the mystery and romance threads are tied together. Plus, I enjoy a good mystery/suspense myself, and love to develop stories that keep the reader guessing–or at least for most of the book.

  • What project are you working on now and how do we find your books?

Currently, I am working on a romantic suspense novella, as well as finishing up the second book in a trilogy (The Cold War Legacy) that I hope to indie publish in 2022. I also release new episodes of my podcast, The Romantic Side of Suspense, twice a month on my website, and also wherever you listen to podcasts.

Blog Stops

Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, September 15

CarpeDiem, September 15

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, September 16

Inklings and notions, September 17

Texas Book-aholic, September 18

lakesidelivingsite, September 18

For Him and My Family, September 19

deb’s Book Review, September 20

Mary Hake, September 20

Locks, Hooks and Books, September 21

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, September 22

Because I said so — and other adventures in Parenting, September 23

A Reader’s Brain, September 23

A Modern Day Fairy Tale, September 24

Musings of a Sassy Bookish Mama, September 25

Pause for Tales , September 25

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, September 26

Gina Holder, Author and Blogger, September 27 (Author Interview)

Spoken from the Heart, September 27

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, September 28


To celebrate her tour, Sarah is giving away the grand prize package of a $50 Amazon gift card & eBook copy of the book!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway!

Click the link below to enter.

10 thoughts on “Illusion of Love Blog Tour

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