Thursday, October 13, 2022

Author Interview: The Dark Guest by Sarah Hamaker



Welcome to the Blog + Review Tour for The Dark Guest by Sarah Hamaker, hosted by JustRead Publicity Tours!


Title: The Dark Guest 
Series: The Cold War Legacy #1 
Author: Sarah Hamaker 
Publisher: Seshva Press LLC 
Release Date: May 15, 2022 
Genre: Christian, Romantic Suspense 

The Cold War is over, but The Wolf is still at the door. 

When Violet Lundy isn’t cleaning rooms at Happy Hills Assisted Living Facility, she loves spending her free time with resident Rainer Kopecek. Hearing his stories of the dangerous life he led behind the Iron Curtain in East Berlin makes her own life seem more tolerable. But when Rainer is found dead and his room in disarray, Violet suspects foul play. 

Dr. Henry Silverton lives among his books, teaching and writing about the Cold War. A letter about an East German traitor known only as “The Wolf” propels Henry out of academia and into Violet’s life. Together, they embark on a perilous quest to uncover the truth about Rainer’s death and the traitor’s identity. 

Can Violet and Henry uncover the secrets of the past before one of them ends up as The Wolf’s next victim?

PURCHASE LINKS: Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | BookDepository | IndieBound


“You have date tonight?” Rainer Kopecek smiled from his seat by the window, which overlooked the manicured lawn of the Happy Hill Assisted Living Facility.

Violet Lundy returned the old German’s smile as she removed the pillows from his bed. “Only if you’re available.”

He cackled with glee. “If I were only—”

“Forty years younger.” she finished his sentence before stripping the bed and tossing the sheets into her cart. “I don’t mind being alone.”

“Ah, you are much too young to give up on love. Too pretty as well.”

“You sound like a matchmaker.” She snapped a fresh sheet on the twin bed, then sprinkled a little lavender on it to help cover the strong disinfectant odor that permeated all the laundry. Of all the residents at the facility, she liked Mr. Kopecek best because of his optimism.

“Nothing wrong with that.” He waggled a gnarled finger. “I would like you settled before I meet my Maker.”

“I thought you were going to live as long as Methuselah.” She chuckled. “So I have plenty of time.”

He shrugged his shoulders. “Life, it can be cut short. You should not wait too long to find someone.”


Sarah Hamaker loves writing books “where the hero and heroine fall in love while running for their lives.” She’s written romantic suspense novels and nonfiction books, as well as stories in Chicken Soup for the Soul volumes. As a writers coach, her heart is encouraging writers. She’s a member of ACFW; ACFW Virginia Chapter; and Faith, Hope and Love, 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 teenagers, a preschool foster child and three cats.

Connect with Sarah by visiting to follow her on social media or subscribe to email newsletter updates.


Q: What was the inspiration behind The Dark Guest

Sarah: I’ve always been fascinated with the Cold War and East Germany in particular, given how tightly controlled the population was by the government and Stasi. So when this germ of an idea came to me about a mystery based in 1980s East Berlin that impacted lives today, I jumped on it. The result is Violet and Henry’s story, the first in a trilogy (The Cold War Legacy series) about something that happened in 1980s East Berlin with implications for today.

Q:  How long did it take you to write this story? 

Sarah: Which version—ha, ha. This has been a long time coming, given I started this particular story about 10 years ago. I entered it into the American Christian Fiction Writers Genesis contest for three years in a row, revising the entry and book based on judges feedback. It won in 2015, and several publishers considered it, but ultimately decided not to publish it. Then a little over a year ago, I decided to finish writing books 2 and 3 in the trilogy, then begin indie publishing the series. So here we are! The Dark Atonement (book 2) released in September and The Dark Reckoning will be out in early 2023.

Q:  Do you have a favorite quote from this book? 

Sarah: I don’t have a favorite quote, but I do have a favorite character—Rainer Kopecek, who grew up behind the Iron Curtain before emigrating to the United States in the 1990s after the Berlin Wall came down. I liked him so much that I wrote a short story based in East Berlin so I could spend a little more time with him and his wife, Verna.

Q: . What do you hope readers take away from The Dark Guest

Sarah: That what happens in the past doesn’t have to color our future. The title comes from the Puritan book of prayers called Valley of Vision. This poem, entitled “The Dark Guest,” refers to how we invite sin into our hearts as if it’s a guest, but that through Christ’s work on the cross, we don’t have to keep the guest in our hearts—we’re freed from the bondage of sin.

Q:  Would you share something about yourself that most readers would not know? 

Sarah: This is always a hard one for me, as I don’t think I live a very interesting life—or, perhaps, more accurately, I think my life is interesting and fulfilling but others might not. But I will say that as an introvert whose husband now works from home (and is therefore home all the time), I’ve started having an annual birthday getaway (since my birthday’s in June, this works out well!) all by myself. I’ve been very grateful my wonderful husband understands how important this is for me to recharge my batteries, so he’s been very supportive of my solo writing retreats.

Q:  What are you reading now? 

Sarah: I tend to juggle several books at once, dipping into them throughout the week. I’m reading Toni Shiloh’s In Search of a Prince, Pam Green’s Church on Fire, Nana Dolce’s The Seed of a Woman, The Connected Child, and Susan Cain’s Bittersweet.

Q:  How many bookcases are in your home? 

Sarah: I love this question! I have to go count. Be back in a sec. 18 bookcases! Wow, I knew we had a lot but didn’t realize we had that many. All but four have books on every shelf (the other four have CDs, games or DVDs). Thank goodness you didn’t ask me to count how many books we have!

Q: What do you like to do when you are not writing? 

Sarah: Watch BritBox and knit! I’m currently working on a blanket—well, when one of my three cats lets me knit instead of taking over my entire lap. I’m a little obsessed with British crime shows, and last Christmas, decided to ask my four teenagers if they would purchase an annual subscription to BritBox as my Christmas/birthday/Mother’s Day gifts for 2022. They thought that a fantastic idea, and I’ve already warned them they’ll need to renew for 2023.


(1) winner will receive a copy of The Dark Guest (print or ebook, winner's choice), a 20 oz Wolf Tumbler-Stainless Steel Travel Mug With Lid And Straw, a Wolf Wristlet Keychain, an assortment of specialty teas, a The Dark Guest tote, and The Dark Guest notebook.

(1) additional winner will receive an ebook copy of The Dark Guest, a Wolf Wristlet Keychain, an 
assortment of specialty teas, and The Dark Guest notebook.


Full tour schedule linked below. The giveaway begins at midnight October 11, 2022 and will last through 11:59 PM EST on October 18, 2022. Winner will be notified within 2 weeks of close of the giveaway and given 48 hours to respond or risk forfeiture of prize. US only. Void where prohibited by law or logistics.

Giveaway is subject to the policies found here.


Follow along at JustRead Tours for a full list of stops!

JustRead Publicity Tours 


  1. Thanks for letting me talk about The Dark Guest on your blog today!

  2. great interview! Thanks for sharing, Jolene!

  3. I very much enjoyed this interview, especially Sarah's answer about the number of bookcases in her house. I am intrigued by The Dark Guest.

  4. I enjoyed the interview. Wow, 18 bookcases!

  5. Fun interview! The Dark Guest sounds like a page-turner.

  6. Great Interview. Looks Like A Great Suspenseful Read. Thank You For Sharing This Book & It's Book Tour With Us.