Character Spotlight + Giveaway: Patricia Beal’s Ana, Peter, and Claus

About the story:

Ana Brassfield has her path to the stage of the Metropolitan Opera House all figured out until her first love, renowned German dancer Claus Gert, returns to Georgia to win her back. Despite a promising start towards her ballet career and pending marriage to landscape architect, Peter Engberg, Ana wonders if her dreams of dancing at the Met are as impossible as her previous romantic relationship with Claus.

Then, an on-stage kiss between Ana and Claus changes everything.

Convinced the kiss is more than a one-time mistake, Peter breaks off their engagement. With an old dog crippled by arthritis and dreams deferred but not left behind, Ana moves to Germany to be with Claus. But the ghost of his late wife, Ana’s own feelings for Peter, and the pressure of earning a spot in a large ballet company are a high price for a shot at success. Ana seems on the verge of having everything she ever dreamed of, but will it be enough?

Meet Ana

Image Credit: Pinterest

Resembles: You – I would love for each reader to feel like the star of the story.

Age: Late twenties.

Loves: Ballet, her aging dog, the Chattahoochee River, Callaway Gardens, the Rhine.

Quirk: Counting when she doesn’t want to cry (trees, bricks, anything).

Favorite place to explore/visit: Callaway Gardens.

Biggest struggle: Finding joy, balance, and success.

Background: She’s been dancing forever and does well, but not as well as she’d hoped, and time is running out. She’s engaged and is happy, but her first love’s return to Georgia after a mysterious disappearance shakes her up.

Work: Second best at the Allen Ballet.

Meet Peter

Image Credit: Pinterest

Resembles: Blake Shelton.

Age: Late thirties.

Loves: Ana, his ranch, and country music.

Quirk: He knows a lot about ducks and hawks.

Favorite place to explore/visit: Anywhere Ana is.

Biggest struggle: Trust.

Background: His first wife left him for another man. He believes that with Ana he can be happy again.

Work: Landscape artist at Callaway Gardens.

Meet Claus

Image Credit: Pinterest

Resembles: Mikhail Baryshnikov.

Age: Late twenties.

Loves: Ana, ballet, picnics by the Rhine, and his Mercedes.

Quirk: He’s an old soul.

Favorite place to explore/visit: Anywhere in his native Germany.

Biggest struggle: To get Ana back.

Background: Claus was born in Germany and met Ana when they were both starting their careers. After a mysterious disappearance and 10-year absence, he returns to Georgia to dance with her and win her back.

Work: He’s now one of the world’s most famous dancers.

Explore the world of A Season to Dance:

Giveaway:

Click on the image or Rafflecopter link to enter.


a Rafflecopter giveaway

About the Author:

Patricia Beal is from Brazil and immigrated to the U.S. in 1992. She fell in love with the English language while washing dishes at McDonald’s and soon passed the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL). She put herself through college working at a BP gas station and graduated magna cum laude from the University of Cincinnati in 1998 with a B.A. in English Literature.

Patricia writes contemporary Christian fiction and is represented by Les Stobbe. Her debut novel, A Season to Dance, just came out May 9 (Bling! / Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas). She’s a 2015 Genesis semi-finalist and First Impressions finalist. She and her husband live in El Paso, Texas, with their two children.

You can connect with Patricia on her website, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, and Goodreads.

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Top Ten Tuesday: Book Turn Offs

In this week’s Top Ten Tuesday we explore things that turn us off to a book. I’ve compiled a list of ten things that either make me run in the opposite direction or have me thinking long and hard before picking up the book.

1. Horror — I enjoy a good suspense novel. I even like a story that props me at the edge of my seat, my heart pounding in my chest. That being said, if a book crosses into horror territory, I’m out of there faster than a ten-year old at a haunted house.

2. Sex — Sex happens — in and out of marriage, among teens, old people, and every age in between. That doesn’t mean I need or want to read about it. Some things are better left to the reader’s imagination.

3. Gore — Speaking of things that are better left to the imagination — graphic gore and violence. Does the cop shoot the rapist? Does the serial killer stab another victim? Does the banker who’s lost it all dive from a skyscraper? The author can reveal how and why without showing every itty-bitty detail. I don’t want to know where each speck of blood fell or what organs spilled out of the body.  

4. Bad language — It’s not that I don’t ever read a book with colorful language. A few authors I enjoy, who pen adrenaline-pumping suspense, sadly come at the expense of strong vocabulary. So I do my best to gloss over those words. However, if an author utilizes excessive bad language and it serves little purpose other than shock value, I’ll pass.

5. Sci-fi and 6. Fantasy — I know people who rave about these genres, but for some reason the fan boat passed me. With more books out there than I can possibly read in ten lifetimes, I’ll stick to genres that captivate me.

7. Sad endings — Tragic and painful things can happen in the book as long as I get my happy ending. Maybe it’s not realistic, but if I want sad, I have real life for that. When it comes to stories I want things to turn out okay.

8. Time travel — I’ve tried it in books, movies, and TV shows, but I just can’t get into it. Perhaps I can’t suspend belief long enough to immerse myself into the story, or maybe it’s because time travel often falls under the sci-fi and fantasy genres. Whatever the reason, the effect remains the same.

9. Zombies, Vampires, Werewolves, Angels, Demons, etc. — Books with these characters seem to be all the rage right now, but it’s one fad I just don’t get.

10. Biblical retellings — I’m not opposed to Biblical retellings, but I’m extremely picky. I understand that the Bible doesn’t provide all the details and I’m all for artistic license, but few things irk me more than when the author changes known facts.

What turns you off to reading a book?

 

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When Tides Turn (Waves of Freedom #3) by Sarah Sundin

Genre: Historical Fiction, Romance
Publisher: Revell
Publication Date: March 2016

Tired of being viewed as just a pretty face, Quintessa Beaumont enlists in the Navy’s newly formed WAVES program for women. Not only will it aid in the war effort, it will give her the chance to prove she can also be useful. However, in her pursuit of demonstrating she can contribute more than beauty, Tessa becomes embroiled in a case that reeks of sabotage and spies.

No-nonsense Lt. Dan Avery longs for the sea, instead he’s stuck behind a desk. But he’ll endure anything to make admiral, including hold on to his land legs a while longer and swear off love. So he’s less than thrilled when vivacious, fun-loving Tessa bursts onto his radar. She’s exactly the kind of distraction his mentor has warned him about, and Dan is determined to keep her far away.

Sarah Sundin does it again! When Tides Turn hits the trifecta with a beautifully-blended story of love, intrigue, and faith. Well-researched history, heart-warming characters, and a historical setting that pops to life make this novel impossible to set down.

Despite my immense love for Jim Avery (Through Waters Deep), I think his no-nonsense brother has taken his place as my favorite hero in the Waves of Freedom series. I don’t want to give anything away, but just wait until the scene in which Dan gives Tessa one of the sweetest gifts ever. I’m pretty sure I melted into a puddle right then and there.

As always, the characters are exquisitely developed as they face life and faith obstacles many of us can relate to. Sundin has a knack for understanding and addressing the human psyche. Though Tessa and I are night and day different, I could connect with her and found I, too, struggle with a lot of her fears and worries. It was a reminder that despite people’s differences; we deal with a lot of the same issues.

I strongly recommend When Tides Turn to anyone looking for a great historical romance with a hint of mystery. If you haven’t read the first two installments, I encourage you to start there, not because they are imperative to follow this book, but because the series is too good to miss.

Review copy provided by publisher. Thanks!

**Originally posted on Radiant Lit.

Spotlight: Titanis by Ronie Kendig

About the Story:

Never Again.
A vow written in the blood of the fallen is threatened in Australia’s rugged Top End.

Eamon “Titanis” Straider left the military and civilization behind after betrayal cost the life of a teammate. Living on this super yacht, the ViCross, Eamon reluctantly agrees to host an event for his parents, who are part of the Australian political machine. When an attractive woman arrives with his mother, Eamon is furious—and determined to find out what she is hiding.

Lady Ellis Rostov-Leclair has never felt so threatened as she does by the infamous “Beast of Cape York,” a man notorious for removing people—by force if necessary—from his yacht. His uncanny perception endangers not only her reason for being aboard the ship, but a secret she’s held for twenty years.

When the yacht is seized by a man with one goal: make those responsible for his brother’s death pay—the Beast of Cape York must live up to his name and protect those under his charge, or die trying.

About the Author:

Ronie Kendig is an award-winning, bestselling author who grew up an Army brat. She married a veteran, and together their lives are never dull with four children and two dogs–a a Maltese Menace and a retired military working dog, Vvolt N629. Ronie’s degree in psychology has helped her pen novels of intense, raw characters.

Since launching onto the publishing scene in 2010, Ronie and her books have hit bestseller lists and garnered awards and critical acclaim.

Connect with Ronie through her Website, Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.

Character Spotlight + Giveaway : Pepper Basham’s Wes and Eisley

About the Story:

Single mom, Eisley Barrett, takes a vacation from her Blue Ridge Mountain “mom” life to travel to the English countryside in search of answers to an ancestral mystery. Burned by romance, she certainly isn’t planning to stumble into her own fairy tale. Leading man and former rogue, Christopher Wesley Harrison is fighting to rebuild a new reputation after a tragedy introduced him to the power of redemption. His self-protective avoidance of romance crumbles at Eisley’s two left feet and her authenticity send his heart into unscripted territory. When his past threatens to ruin their second chance at love, can some Appalachian matchmaking and letters from the grave salvage their unexpected romance?

Meet Eisley:

Resembles: Amy Adams

Physical description: Red-head of medium height. She’s not super thin – kind of average, even though she sees herself as more well-rounded than average.

Age: 31

Loves: Romance movies and books. She LOVES her family. She’s a history nerd, especially as it relates to the UK. Her profession is as a preschool teacher in a school for kids who have learning challenges.

Hates: Black-eyed peas and the way eating chocolate leaves a long-lasting representation on her hips. She’s not a fan of reality T.V. because if it’s on, she has a really hard time looking away, even though she knows she should.

Quirk: She’s clumsy and has the unhappy habit of talking first, thinking next.

Favorite chocolate/dessert: Mama’s Chocolate Marshmallow Cookies.

Favorite place to explore/visit: England – anywhere.

Biggest struggle: Believing in herself.

Background: She’s a single mom of 3 cute kiddos – Nathan, Pete, and Emily. She grew up in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia as a twin and oldest in her family with 6 siblings. Her dad is into construction part-time and helps with the preschool part-tine, her mom and sister run a bakery.

Work: She’s a preschool teacher in a school for children with learning differences.

Other: She wants to believe in happily-ever-after and magic. And maybe…all it takes is a great big God and a swoony hero to make her fairy tale come true! 🙂

Meet Wes:

Resembles: A cross between Henry Cavill and Richard Armitage (the voice definitely resembles more of Richard Armitage).

Pinterest: Photo 1 and Photo 2

Physical description: Tall-ish, muscular and lean, broad shouldered with dark hair and smoky-blue eyes. Eisley describes him a ‘Greek god-ish’ or “Ghirardelli in human form.”

Age: 34

Loves: He loves story. Family. Beautiful landscapes. A good kiss or snuggle. Doesn’t mind a great fiction book at all, knows how to fence, and enjoys long walks.

Hates: The paparazzi, pushy people, lies…he’d lost his love for dancing until recently.

Quirk: An affinity for finding closets for some reason…

Favorite chocolate/dessert: He loves chocolate, but he really prefers fruit desserts. Apple dishes are his favorite.

Biggest struggle: He really struggles with trusting people – especially new people in his life.

Background: Wes is the middle child of three siblings to Daniel and Eleanor Harrison. He grew up in a very wealthy family with a long history of property owners on their estate of Harrogate Park. When Wes was a teen, his older brother developed cancer and died, leaving Wes bitter and rebellious against the faith he’d grown up with. It took a tragedy and a lot of love from his family (including his younger sister Cate) to bring him back from the brink of despair…and eventually open his heart again.

Work: Wes is an actor of smaller films, particularly costume dramas. He’s also a budding screenwriter.

Other: He’s swoony. Like Eisley, once he’s committed, he’s focused on forever.

Explore the world of Just the Way You Are:

Giveaway:

Click on the image or Rafflecopter link to enter.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

About the Author:

Pepper Basham is an award-winning author who writes romance peppered with grace and humor. She currently resides in the lovely mountains of Asheville, NC where she is the mom of 5 great kids, speech-pathologist to about fifty more, lover of chocolate, jazz, and Jesus. Her debut historical novel, The Thorn Bearer, released in May 2015 and has garnered awards such as Reader’s Favorites Award, finalist in the Grace Awards, shortlisted for the Inspy Awards, and most recently a finalist in the ACFW Carol Awards. Her second historical novel, The Thorn Keeper, released in Feb 2016 and her first contemporary romance, A Twist of Faith, released in April 2016 with a 4 star review from Romantic Times. The third book in the Penned in Time series, The Thorn Healer, released in December 2017 with a 4 1/2 star review from RT and Top Pick rating.

Pepper’s first novella arrived in March as part of a Love at First Laugh novella compilation and her novel, Just the Way You Arereleased on April 6th – a fun-filled Britallachian romance! Both books are up for preorder on Amazon.

You can get to know Pepper on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram

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