Posted by: Kathy Temean | February 15, 2018

Book Giveaway: THE TRAITOR’S KISS by Erin Beaty

Just by accident, I noticed Erin Beaty’s new book, THE TRAITOR’S KISS (the first in a series) and took a chance picking it up. As soon as I finished reading, I emailed Erin and asked her if she would like to be featured on my blog with a book giveaway. She said, “YES!” I Loved the storytelling – The characters – The romance – The adventure – The tension – The Espionage, lies, and the writing in this book. I’m sure you will, too.

All you have to do to get in the running is to leave a comment. Reblog, tweet, or talk about it on Facebook with a link and you will get additional chances to win. Just let me know the other things you did to share the good news, so I can put in the right amount of tickets in my basket for you. Check back to discover the winner.


An obstinate girl who will not be married.
A soldier desperate to prove himself.
A kingdom on the brink of war.

With a sharp tongue and an unruly temper, Sage Fowler is not what they’d call a proper lady—which is perfectly fine with her. Deemed unfit for a suitable marriage, Sage is apprenticed to a matchmaker and tasked with wrangling other young ladies to be married off for political alliances. She spies on the girls—and on the soldiers escorting them.

As the girls’ military escort senses a political uprising, Sage is recruited by a handsome soldier to infiltrate the enemy ranks. The more she discovers as a spy, the less certain she becomes about whom to trust—and Sage becomes caught in a dangerous balancing act that will determine the fate of her kingdom.

With secret identities and a tempestuous romance, Erin Beaty’s The Traitor’s Kiss is full of intrigue, espionage, and lies.

An Imprint Book

“One of the most hotly anticipated young adult fantasy reads of 2017” —Bustle

“An action-packed, expertly plotted story, drenched in double crosses and intrigue, with an irresistible heroine and a sweet and sexy romance.”—Publishers Weeklystarred review


I had never considered myself a writer. English was consistently my weakest subject in junior high and high school, but I didn’t care because I loved science and math. Writing was only valuable to me as a tool for expressing ideas. I was an avid reader, gobbling anything that caught my interest, from non-fiction to sci-fi to fantasy to historical. I studied engineering in college, but in the navy I found few ways I could apply the technical knowledge I’d acquired. On long watches on a ship’s bridge, you can’t read, so I often amused myself making up my own stories. They were only ever for me, though, and they never left my head.

Eventually I resigned my commission to take care of my growing family. Isolated in a tiny Kansas town, I took to writing funny kid vignettes on a blog so our distant family could keep up with us. I still made up my own little stories, but still only for me. Several moves later, all five kids were in school and suddenly I had a lot of time on my hands. For a while I was kind of lost, trying to decide what to do. Then, literally one day, something sparked in my brain while watching a movie with my girls. I still don’t know what possessed me to think Maybe I should actually write this one down.

I spent a few weeks tooling around in notebooks, drawing maps and thinking of names for characters and places. A plot began to solidify, and I became more determined to jump into this, but I wanted to do it 100%. My son’s first communion was coming up, though, so things were hectic with family and planning and rehearsals. I looked at the calendar and decided when it was all over I was going to sit my butt down and do this for real. That’s how on Tuesday, May 7th, 2014, I found myself opening up my laptop and creating a Word document.

I had no clue how to write a book. I knew nothing about agents and publishing. I had no idea how hard any of it would be. All I knew was this character and her situation wouldn’t go away. Outwardly, the tale sounded rather tropish: an orphan tomboy who loves books finds her guardian is setting up an arranged marriage. But I didn’t want her to just run away, I wanted her to feel lost and unsure enough (and obligated) to try to make this work. Like me, however, Sage has a hard time pretending to be something she’s not. I figured surely the woman judging her to be matched would see right through it and declare her unfit for marriage.

Sage originally began as a Cinderella-like character, put upon and looked down on by everyone. I intended to make her try to apologize to the matchmaker only to be rebuffed, then find some way to help the matchmaker which would cause her to reluctantly hire Sage as an assistant. But that wasn’t what happened. Instead, the matchmaker revealed herself to be a shrewd but kind woman who knew exactly what she wanted, too.

That was the first time a character surprised me, but not the last. Did I know the “big twist” of the story going into it? Yes, but most other details were vague. The other parts took root and grew pretty quickly, though, which was reassuring when I wondered whether the ideas I had for the next books would fill out. (They have so far, thankfully.)

So I stumbled through the next year, learning a lot of writing lessons the hard way, steadily improving the manuscript. I signed with an agent in June of 2015 (the querying is another story entirely), went through some revisions with her and went out on submission in early November. By January we had competing offers of publication. After several months of intense and painful edits, all the while terrified my publisher would suddenly wake up to the fact that they’d bought a horrible mess of a book from a neurotic neophyte, The Traitor’s Kiss hit bookshelves on Tuesday, May 9th, 2017, three years almost exactly from when I started writing it.

Though living through the process seemed interminably long, that is almost unbelievably, incredibly fast.

When other writers hear that, they ask whether I wish I’d started writing sooner, and the answer is no, not really. I wasn’t ready until now. The carefree blog I had for years served the huge purpose of making me a better story-teller and developing my voice. I learned how to make events clearer, more concise, and at least half-way entertaining. My time in the navy and raising kids made me an observer of people and predictor of events, both of which served me well. I also didn’t really have the time to write until now, because it’s a job. A really freaking hard one, too. Most of all, at this age I’ve discovered my limits and what was most important to me in life. I don’t think I could’ve weathered the criticism that came at me until now, either.


The Traitor’s Kiss stands out among fantasy novels to some extent because it lacks magical elements. I have nothing against magic-it just didn’t seem to have a place in this story. The absence, I think, is a reflection of one of my core values: I believe in the power of ordinary people. Sage doesn’t have dormant abilities, a mysterious origin, lethal skills, or some god’s special attention. I don’t ever want to trash those elements in other stories, though, because I love them. In this case, I just wanted to show teen readers they could be amazing without any of that. The man Sage falls in love with is just as ordinary as she is; what makes them extraordinary is what they strive to be. But putting all that in the story was all unconscious, which goes back to why I’m glad I didn’t start writing until I was nearly 40: I know who I am, and that bleeds into everything I do. Like Sage, I’m not able to hide it.


Erin Beaty was born and raised in Indianapolis, Indiana, which means she can’t drive a tractor, but she won’t eat veggies that come from a can.

She graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy in 2000 with a BS in Aerospace Engineering (Astronautics) and German. After serving as a weapons officer on a combat destroyer, she did a tour at the Center for Naval Leadership as a junior officer leadership instructor. Her first novel, “The Traitor’s Kiss,” was published by Imprint, Macmillan in May 2017. A sequel “The Traitor’s Ruin” will be released in May 2018, and a third book in the trilogy in May 2019.

Erin and her husband have five kids, two cats, and a vegetable garden and live wherever the Navy tells them to go.

Thank you Erin for sharing your book and its journey with us. So happy that I can introduce your book to everyone. I can’t wait for book two to come out in July.

Talk tomorrow,



  1. This is a great story! I wish there would a separate entry on the query letters she used to secure an agent! That would be most helpful!


  2. Sounds like an intriguing story! Thank you for sharing.


  3. Sounds like a fabulous read! Thanks for the opportunity, Kathy. 🙂 Hey to Erin from a fellow Navy girl from Indy. Will post your giveaway on my FB.


  4. Wow, Erin, I loved hearing about how you came to be a writer and when. It’s so true that our experiences in life directly inform our writing and we don’t write certain things till we’re ready. Though I, too, love books with “magic” (Harry Potter, anyone?), I REALLY love that you haven’t included it here. I do hope I get to read your books! Congrats on ALL of it 😀


    • …and OH, how I love MAPS! 😀 😀 😀


  5. Great idea for a book. I especially appreciate a fantasy without magic.


  6. Sounds like a great novel that I’d love to read! Thanks for sharing your story!


  7. Erin, your book sounds wonderful! Your own personal story is just as intriguing, so I hope we’ll all get a chance to read your memoir one day soon….


  8. I really appreciated hearing the history of this book’s genesis. It was heartening to hear about Erin’s lack of regret that she didn’t start sooner writing sooner. I like the idea of how much of herself, her wisdom and confidence at this point in her life, went into the book’s core elements. Thank you for the chance to win!

    Here’s a link to my share on Twitter too:


  9. This sounds like a great story and the cover art is wonderful! Thanks for the chance to win a copy.
    For more chances to win I’ve tweeted a link to this post:, and pinned an image on Pinterest:
    Thanks again, have a great weekend!


  10. I love good fantasy adventures! Our heroine Sage sounds like a good role model!


  11. Erin’s posting about her query for this book bootstrapped me back to read this blog posting about the book’s journey. Both left me eager to read The Traitor’s Kiss (and sequels), which I shall do, either by being the lucky winner of the free copy, or requesting the book at my local library!


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