Tuesday, January 23, 2024

Sarahlyn Bruck is fire...plus a book giveaway

Credit: Jennifer Buhl
Today we are thrilled to have Sarahlyn Bruck back at CLC to celebrate the publication of her latest novel, Light of the Fire! The story sounds fascinating and we know it's going to be a hit with readers. Sarahlyn has one copy to share with a lucky reader! (Either an ebook-worldwide or print copy-US only.)

Sarahlyn Bruck writes contemporary, book club fiction and is the award-winning author of two other novels: Daytime Drama (2021), and Designer You (2018). When she’s not writing, Sarahlyn moonlights as a full-time writing and literature professor at a local community college. She’s also a co-host of the pop culture podcast, Pretty Much Pop. From Northern California, she now lives in Philadelphia with her family. (Bio adapted from Sarahlyn's website.)

Visit Sarahlyn online:

Twenty years ago, an out-of-control prank ended in an accident that destroyed the high school gym and threatened the futures of star athletes Beth and Ally. They move on with their lives carrying their secret while someone else is blamed, but the years reveal that no one truly comes out unscathed.

Now, both women are at a crossroads: Beth returns to her hometown after a concussion ends her professional soccer career, and a surprise pregnancy disrupts Ally’s idyllic family. The only thing either of them are sure of is their desire to mend their estranged relationship.

But the old friends aren’t just battling new problems when their former classmate Jordan begins to investigate the crime for which his father was convicted. As their secret comes back around to threaten their futures once more, Beth and Ally will have to decide whether to run away from the truth again or face it once and for all. (Courtesy of Amazon.)

“When fear and guilt drive best friends and budding soccer stars Ally and Beth to keep a terrible secret, that secret shapes the rest of their lives. Light of the Fire is a rich and beautifully written story about loss, family, friendship, and forgiveness, and what compels us to own up to our mistakes. I thoroughly enjoyed!” 
—Kerry Lonsdale, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, and Amazon Charts bestselling author

“Can we ever truly right our past wrongs—and when we try, does it even matter? That’s the question at the heart of Sarahlyn Bruck’s latest novel about two women whose pasts are still very much present. Light of the Fire is a riveting story of friendship, secrets, and the curveballs life can throw our way.” 
—Camille Pag├ín, bestselling author of Good for You

“Sarahlyn Bruck’s Light of the Fire delivers a thoughtful exploration of how the fear of consequences often defines and derails our lives more than the underlying mistake would. Tension mounts as Ally and Beth begin to comprehend how many lives were affected by their secret, keeping readers riveted until the two friends accept that their only path to redemption and peace of mind is to come clean. A timely and important story that resonates in an era in which honesty too often takes a backseat to ambition.” 
—Jamie Beck, bestselling author of The Beauty of Rain

What were the biggest rewards and challenges with writing Light of the Fire?
First off, thanks so much for having me back on Chick Lit Central! For the most part, I really enjoyed writing Light of the Fire. The research was fun—it’s set in a fictional small town in New Jersey, which meant I made a few day trips outside of where I live in Philadelphia to scout various locations that informed the small-town setting.

Also, one of the main characters, Beth, plays professional soccer. And although the story isn’t centered around soccer, the sport is part of who she is, and it’s what brought Beth and Ally together. One of my challenges writing this book was incorporating that piece of the puzzle in a realistic way, which meant…more research. Fortunately, I had the pleasure of speaking with a woman who played professionally and for the Women’s National Team, and she generously shared the inside scoop on what the day-to-day lifestyle looks like for these players. Her insight and experience were invaluable to me. The Beth we meet on the page wouldn’t be the same without her expertise.

What is one piece of advice you'd give to the debut novelist version of yourself?
I think I’d remind myself that for every published author, there is a unique path. In other words, there isn’t just one “correct” path to publication. In fact, there are so many ways to do it right—especially  now—so being flexible and resilient is key as the publishing industry changes. I think it’s our way of staying in the game.

If Light of the Fire were made into a movie, what songs would you include on the soundtrack?
Oh goodness—this is a toughie for me. Let’s see, we could go with songs about friendship, maybe “Lean on Me,” “I’ll Be There for You,” or something from the Spice Girls, haha. Or maybe, songs about secrets? I can’t think of any songs that fit off the top of my head—I’ll be taking suggestions!

Did you make any New Year's resolutions?
I hadn’t planned on making any resolutions this year, but a buddy of mine told me that hers was following through with making plans with friends. I loved that idea so much, I decided to borrow it. I’ve been filling my calendar with lunch dates and dinner plans, which is really fun.

If your life were a TV series, which celebrity would you want to narrate it?
Oh, I absolutely fell in love with Lizzy Caplan’s narration in Fleishman Is in Trouble. I adored the book and the limited series so much. She did a great job of bringing Libby to life! I would have her narrate my TV life in a second.

If we were to visit you right now, what are some places you'd take us to see?
I live in Philadelphia—a short walk to Center City, the Philadelphia Museum of Art and the Rocky steps, Penn and Drexel campuses, the Philadelphia Zoo, as well as the Liberty Bell and Independence Hall. I love all those sights, but I’d probably take visitors to places that might have been a little less well-known, like the Barnes Museum, which boasts a remarkable collection of Impressionist and Post-Impressionist art that I’ve ever seen outside of Paris. The story behind the Barnes is equally interesting, too. Isaiah Zagar's Magic Gardens of mosaic art on South Street is also truly magical as the name might imply. And of course, I always love a run or long walk along the Schyulkill River Trail when the weather cooperates.

Thanks to Sarahlyn for visiting with us and sharing her book with our readers.

How to win: Use Rafflecopter to enter the giveaway. If you have any questions, feel free to contact us. If you have trouble using Rafflecopter on our blog, enter the giveaway here

Giveaway ends January 28th at midnight EST.

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Charlotte Lynn said...

I actually just switch careers a year ago. My folks owned a restaurant for 30 years and I worked with them. They closed and I now do customer service for a manufacturing company.

Robyn said...

Thank you for the giveaway.

Katherine said...

Thankfully no, but I know people who lost everything and it’s devastating.

traveler said...

I kept the same career all my life. Now I am changing.

Mary C said...

No, I have not. There was an apartment building fire a half block away - fortunately everyone was safe, but the residents lost most if not all of their possessions.

diannekc said...

We had a fire at our house when I was in high school and we lost our garage and everything in it. Luckily the Fire Department put it out before it got to the house and they saved our dog who they found in the basement.

Anonymous said...

I have not, thank goodness. :)

Tatum Rangel said...

I have not, thank goodness. :)

Jess R said...

I have not, but fire terrifies me!

bn100 said...


yellowlabs said...

I haven't lost anything in a fire as of yet, thankfully.