We’re giving away two copies of Sharon’s latest novel, UNRAVELED, today. Just leave a comment on this post to be entered.
Aria Winters wants off the nut farm. Literally. She wants to get as far away as she can from the Shunk-Winters, family-run nut-farming business. So she heads to Moldova to teach English to a select group of kids. She falls in love with all the children, but especially shy and beautiful Anya. When the unthinkable happens, Aria begins to question what were once the absolutes in her life.
I’m excited to announce the release of my latest novel, Unraveled. Aria’s story is that of an idealistic young woman who seeks a new adventure in her privileged life. She travels to a country she knows nothing about, meets people who change her life in uncomfortable ways, and faces a crisis that nearly undoes her.
Aria has normal insecurities, but she also has one major fear: that her family will discover that the Aria they believe can do no wrong has committed a huge wrong, and that it nearly cost a young woman her life. But it’s not the young woman they think it is. For Aria not only has insecurities, she has secrets that not even her best friend Kari knows about.
Hamilton Andrews sees right through Aria, because he has secrets too, and he’s not making things easy for her. His brand of honesty is a bit too intense for her taste, except when it comes to his music. It draws her the way Opa’s music draws her.
Aria wants you to think she’s navigating her world just fine, but it doesn’t take much to see how easily her world could unravel. And does.
I like when a literary character causes me to look deep within, even when it’s a character I create. Maybe especially when it’s a character I create. Aria Winters does that for me. She makes me reflect, but she also gives me reason to laugh, at myself as well as at her.
Setting is important in a novel. I live in some of the richest agricultural land in the world. There are thousands of acres of vineyards in and around where I live, as well as all manner of fruit and nut orchards. I selected Linden, California, for the site of the Shunk-Winters nut farm, because it has some of the most beautiful orchards you can find anywhere. It was easy to create the proper setting for Aria’s story by just taking a drive in the country.
Moldova became my choice for the other setting of Unraveled. I debated for weeks over where to place that part of the story, and the very week I was to begin writing it, my husband received a newsletter from a friend who is a missionary in Moldova, and his newsletter addressed the very issue I was going to write about. That was an answer to prayer God dropped right in my lap.
So with all the pieces neatly in place, I went to work. I spent 18 months writing Unraveled, and enjoyed every moment. I love the unexpected things that happen in the writing of a book, the things that surprise even the author: characters who turn out to be someone other than who you imagined them to be, characters who emerge that you never planned for, plot twists you didn’t expect and yet that make the story perfect and complete. And the lessons I learn—about people, myself and God. I like that too. I’m blessed, so blessed to be able to do what I love doing. There’s a new character tugging at my imagination these days. I can’t wait to watch her story unfold . . .
Sharon K. Souza writes Contemporary Women’s Fiction, and is the author of Unraveled, Lying on Sunday and Every Good and Perfect Gift, as well as her Christmas novella, A Heavenly Christmas in Hometown. Visit her website to read the first chapters of her novels www.sharonksouza.com.