As publication day approaches, reviews and features are starting to pop up for In the Vanishing Hour, and I couldn't be more excited to receive my first editorial review from Independent Book Review. They will feature the full review on their site in October, but here's what they had to say (minus the plot summary).
Thank you to Independent Book Review for making my day a little bit brighter.
"Sarah Beth Martin has created a unique narrative here. While it’s set decades in the past, it feels like it could be happening today. The story feels incredibly immersive, drawing the reader deeper and deeper into the mystery of what happened to Gwen—and what really happened to Mac Adams all those years ago.
Martin expertly moves between characters and timelines, jumping between 1959 and 1974, blending past and present together, all the while slowly unravelling details that keep the reader guessing and on the edge of their seat, desperate to know more.
The writing is poetic and detailed enough to give us a clear picture of this little town and its characters, both in their prime and in their decline. Martin’s dialogue flows so effortlessly and smoothly that you forget you’re not sitting in the moment with the characters.
It’s also interesting to watch a story unfold where both the characters are grappling with their inner identities. The experience is a universal one for most at some point in their lives, and this particular insight reminds us that we’re not alone.
In the end, the reader is left with a strong message: the truth will always find you, and it will set you free. A lesson many of us could do to learn.
In the Vanishing Hour pairs suspense with drama and a touch of romance, for an effect that is pleasant and cozy while also completely captivating. What a novel for a rainy afternoon. My advice: leave time to finish it in one sitting because it’s hard to put down. Highly recommended for fans of literary suspense."
--Independent Book Review
Fall Books List
In the Vanishing Hour Trailer
Here's my first trailer for the novel, which is due out on October 19th.
Advance Praise, Part Two
More Old Haunts
My First Movie Trailer
Film to Literary Influences
This old, warped paperback represents one of my biggest writing influences—film. While the novel is a marvel, it was the 1975 film version of Picnic at Hanging Rock that first captivated me.
Part mystery, part psychological drama, and with the haunting feel of a classic ghost story, Peter Weir’s masterpiece spoke to me in a way no film had before. It has a dreamlike feel that is both unsettling and enigmatic. The plot is ambiguous in places, the ending untidy. It changed the way I looked at “place” as a character, and it introduced me to the kind of open-ended mysteries that leave me tossing in my sleep. I knew this was the type of story I wanted to watch, read, and write—evocative and beautiful, but with an underlying darkness.
Nearly everything I write begins with a location that’s alive with ghosts (sometimes literal ones that eventually turn figurative) and has a romantic feel (despite little romance). And of course, there are the dead and vanished, and all those buried things. Many films have influenced my writing, but when I came across the book this morning, I remembered the power of this one.
While this post is about the film, I can’t ignore that it was a novel first, and author Joan Lindsay deserves applause for this haunting tale. The book is categorized as historical fiction, and it’s uniquely framed as a real life event, which gives it a distinctly dark feel.
Please note the film to which I’m referring is the 1975 version (not to be confused with the 2018 remake. I can’t speak for that one).
Micro-fiction in Anthology
My Journal, a.k.a. Blog
A place for author news, writing inspiration, pretty pictures, and other nostalgic musings.