Sarah Hamaker has been spinning stories since she was a little girl in pigtails. Her romantic suspense novels include Dangerous Christmas Memories (Harlequin/Love Inspired Suspense), Deadly Diamonds, Mistletoe & Murder, Illusion of Love, Protecting Her Witness, The Dark Guest (an ACFW Genesis winner), and Vanished Without a Trace (Harlequin/Love Inspired Suspense). She has also been published in non-fiction with Hired@Home (DPL Press) and Ending Sibling Rivalry: Moving Your Kids from War to Peace (Beacon Hill Press of Kansas City), as well as Boredom Busters and HomeWork.
Sarah turned her love of asking questions into a podcast with “The Romantic Side of Suspense,” where she chats about writing and romantic suspense books. As an AWSA Certified Coach, she also helps other writers achieve success.
What started you on your writing journey?
My imagination! Seriously, I made up so many stories as a child, it was only natural I’d start jotting them down. But I didn’t get serious about writing until after I had a couple of kids and decided I needed to actually finish a novel. I participated in National Novel Writing Month in November for years, as it was a good discipline to write an entire book.
The Author and Creator of our lives often writes in a twist that ultimately blesses us more than our original plan. Have you ever experienced such a “Divine Detour”?
This may sound strange, but I think of divine detours more as opportunities for spiritual growth than anything else. I’m still a work in progress but I’ve been trying more to view the implosion of my carefully planned day or week as a divine detour—and learning to be both accepting of the unexpected turn and seeing how God is using it for my good and His ultimate glory. My heart still needs work on this, but I’ve been quicker to let go of my own resentment and embrace the day God has given me, rather than mourn the day I thought I’d have.
Let’s talk about your new book, The Dark Reckoning (Seshva Press LLC, February 2023). Please tell us about it and the series.
The Dark Reckoning is a standalone romantic suspense story and the last book in my Cold War Legacy trilogy. I’ve enjoyed writing a modern-day story that has the central mystery based in 1980s East Berlin, behind the Iron Curtain. I’ve always been fascinated with that time in history and it’s one that’s been little written about in Christian fiction. Each book in the series is a standalone story, and each has a separate mystery the modern-day hero and heroine are trying to solve.
When Isana Thomas finds a smartphone among the cherry trees, her life is put in jeopardy. Isana discovers the phone belongs to Lillian Hillam, whose son, Cyrus “Cy” Hillam, works at The Heritage Museum with Isana. But Lillian is missing, and someone doesn’t want the pair to find her.
Cy can’t believe his mother would disappear without telling him, not after his father’s suicide when he was a child. Then kidnappers claiming to have Lillian contact him, asking to exchange her life for a list of names. Cy and Isana must delve deep into his parents’ past to find the list and save his mother’s life.
But someone doesn’t want them to succeed and will do anything to stop their search. Will Cy and Isana uncover the truth about the list before their lives are snuffed out?
A few fun questions…
When the words aren’t flowing—or when you want to celebrate if they are—what is your favorite comfort food and why?
Can I share my favorite comfort beverage instead? Hot tea! I’m a bit of a tea snob and love to have a couple of cups in the morning and decaf tea in the evening. It makes me feel happy to sip a nicely brewed cuppa. I mainly drink black tea blends and am a bit obsessed with Harney & Sons teas—so delicious! Maybe it’s because I’m also a little obsessed with BritBox and love watching British crime shows while drinking tea.
What Biblical story, parable, or passage best describes your personal journey of faith?
The Lord drew me to himself at very young age, so I can’t remember not loving Jesus. One verse that has been part of my journey has been Psalm 37:4: “Delight yourself in the LORD, and he will give you the desires of your heart” (ESV). I love this because it commands us to delight in God, and when we are truly delighting in Him, our desires and His merge ever closer. This has been what I’ve longed for as I continue to grow in my faith—that the desires of my heart would also be what God desires for me.
In the story that is your life, are you the strong, female lead; the girl next door; the mysterious woman behind dark glasses; the super heroine; or the little girl trying to walk in high heels?
I like to think I’m the strong, female lead, who just happens to be an introvert, LOL. I never wanted to be a super-anything, and I like to write strong female leads who might not realize how strong they are at the beginning the book but they do by the end.
I’m a dog lover. Please tell us about your pets, if any, or your favorite pet as a child.
I’m a cat person, although I had a collie (like Lassie!) as a teenager who I loved very much. When my husband and I married, we lived in a tiny condo and it didn’t seem fair to confine a dog there, so we ended up getting two cats from the Siamese Cat Rescue Center. Goliath had six toes and acted more like a dog, greeting visitors and service personnel with enthusiasm. He lived to be 20 years old. We now have three cats, who we also adopted through the same rescue center—Finn (male), and litter mates Odin (male) and Ember (female), who we got as six week old kittens. While my husband has expressed interest in getting a dog from time to time, none of our four kids want one, and so we’re sticking with cats for now.
Thanks, Sarah! It’s been wonderful to have you as a guest at Divine Detour.
~ ~ ~
To purchase The Dark Reckoning and other books by Sarah, go to: