Character Spotlight + Giveaway: Sarah Monzon’s Henry and Alice

Yesterday, we had an exciting day with Michael and Jack stopping by and learning about Sarah Monzon’s latest release, All of You. (Read all about it here.) Today, Henry and Alice have traveled all the way from 1944 ( 😉 ) to tell us a bit about themselves.

Meet Henry

Image Credit: Pinterest

Resembles: Dan Stevens

Physical description: Slightly curly blond hair and sky-blue eyes. He’s average height, but his ever-present fedora adds a few inches. The tell-tale ink stains on his fingers only slightly distract from the smart way he dresses.

Age: 24

Loves: Is observing a hobby? Whether it’s through the lens of his camera or just from a park bench, there is a lot one can learn…about people and events. He also has an affinity for sweeping Alice off her feet.

Hates: Haggis. Seriously. Why would the Scottish think cooking a lamb’s heart, lungs, and liver into a pudding and encasing it in the sheep’s stomach would be appetizing?

Biggest struggle: Balancing everything. Especially now that a certain lady has intrigued him.

Background: He’s the oldest child of a well-known family and as such has a lot of responsibilities and expectations to live up to. He tends to keep his family connections on the down low.

Work: He’s most well-known for his articles and photographs that are printed on the front pages of the newspaper. His other job? Well, he prefers not to talk about that one. Secrecy is key, you know.

Meet Alice

Image Credit: Pinterest

Resembles: A young Carole Landis

Physical description: Soft blonde hair that is often styled in finger waves or victory curls. She’s taller than most women and used to standing at eye-level with men. Slender, but not delicate.

Age: 21

Loves: A bit rebellious, she loves anything that her father would frown upon. That includes climbing trees, racing her horse across a Tennessee meadow, and doing her part in the war effort.

Hates: That bombings and U-boats and the rising death toll is the new norm for all the citizens of the world.

Biggest struggle: Knowing who she is now that she’s escaped her father’s restrictions. But, maybe even more than that, coming to terms that their relationship will never be what she wishes…and that his calling her a disappointment doesn’t define her.

Background: Trying to stay within the confines of her father’s expectations was stifling growing up. Smile just so, wear that, befriend those people. She dreamed of wings to fly free of her elegant cage and found them behind the controls of Jimmie’s bi-plane.

Work: A pilot with the Air Transport Auxiliary in England. She ferries all types of airplanes from factories to Royal Air Force pilots at the front lines.

Giveaway:

Click on the image or Rafflecopter link to enter.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

(Disclaimer: I will be traveling this week, so I will announce the winner next week.)

Explore the world of All of You:

About the Author:

Sarah Monzon is a Navy chaplain’s wife and a stay at home mom to the two cutest littles in the world. Playing pretend all day with them isn’t enough, she spends the evenings after their heads hit the pillow to create her own imaginary characters. When she isn’t in the world of make believe, she can be found in the pine forests of western Washington taking care of her family, fostering friendships, and enjoying all the adventures each day brings.

Her debut novel, The Isaac Project, skyrocketed to Amazon bestseller status while her Sophomore book, Finders Keepers, has finaled in contests such as the Inspy Awards and received a 4 star review from Romantic Times.

Connect with Sarah through her website, Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.

About the Author:Save

Save

Character Spotlight + Giveaway: Sarah Monzon’s Michael and Jack

About the Story:

Maryland, Present Day

Jacquelyn Rogers can rebuild anything…except the shambles of her past. A restorer of vintage planes, she’s worked hard to earn the reputation of being one of the guys. The last thing she needs is a former Navy pilot fighting his own inner demons stepping in to defend her from dangers she thought she’d outrun long ago. Some battles must be fought alone.

After a freak accident severs Lieutenant Michael “Finch” Carrington’s dreams, as well as two limbs, he’s left with nothing but a fragile faith and a duty-bound promise to watch out for his friend’s baby sister. A promise she insists is as unnecessary as it is unappreciated. But when she turns the tables and begins to weld together the broken parts of his life, it may be his heart that is in need of protection.

England, 1944

With the world at war yet again, Alice Galloway rejects her father’s traditional expectations and offers her piloting expertise to the Air Transport Auxiliary. She may be a woman in a man’s world, but when she overhears key intelligence, she must find the strength to transcend boundaries and her own fears. Or countless people may die.

Sometimes the past reaches forward to bring hope to the future.

Meet Michael Carrington

Image Credit: Pinterest

Resembles: Chris O’Donnell

Physical description: Dark brown hair cut military length. Ocean-blue eyes. Clean-shaven. Muscles well-toned from a regimented Navy workout schedule. Amputated right arm and leg.

Age: 28

Loves: The Navy and flying is his life. Or was. He’s still getting used to his new normal.

Hates: Being called a hero.

Biggest struggle: Accepting what his life looks like now. Being okay with not knowing what the future holds.                                      

Background: He comes from a strong Christian family and used to win prizes at memorizing scripture. He’s really close to his family and has two older brothers and a younger sister.

Work: He’s in between jobs. After the freak accident that left him an amputee, learning how to walk again with a prosthetic and looking after his best friend’s sister pretty much takes up all his time. Doubt Jackie would like to be called work though. 😉

Meet Jacquelyn (Jack) Rogers

Image Credit: Pinterest

Resembles: Emma Watson

Physical description: Petite with long brunette hair that is usually pulled back in a ponytail and hazel eyes that look almost golden. She can usually be found in mechanic coveralls with grease under her fingernails.

Age: 26

Loves: Everything vintage, be it airplanes or cars. And if she can get a look at the engine, even better. Follow that up with a large pizza and a game of air hockey and it would be a gold star day.

Hates: Abusive and controlling men. Feeling out of control. Being looked down upon because of her size and gender.

Biggest struggle: Trusting herself.

Background: Her mother died when she was very young and was raised by her single dad and two older brothers. Maybe that’s why she’s always been “one of the guys,” and more at home with a blow torch than a tube of lipstick.

Work: She restores vintage aircraft. Both engine and body work. She’d love to work with real war planes for museums.

Giveaway:

Click on the image or Rafflecopter link to enter.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

(Disclaimer: I will be traveling this week, so I will announce the winner next week.)

All of You is a dual timeline story. Come back tomorrow to meet Henry and Alice the 1944 characters, and to explore the world behind this novel.

About the Author:

Sarah Monzon is a Navy chaplain’s wife and a stay at home mom to the two cutest littles in the world. Playing pretend all day with them isn’t enough, she spends the evenings after their heads hit the pillow to create her own imaginary characters. When she isn’t in the world of make believe, she can be found in the pine forests of western Washington taking care of her family, fostering friendships, and enjoying all the adventures each day brings.

Her debut novel, The Isaac Project, skyrocketed to Amazon bestseller status while her Sophomore book, Finders Keepers, has finaled in contests such as the Inspy Awards and received a 4 star review from Romantic Times.

Connect with Sarah through her website, Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.

Save

Save

Save

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.

Save

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

Save

Spotlight: 7 Must-Eat Israeli Foods + Giveaway | Conspiracy of Silence

Even the toughest warriors need to eat! While in Israel, the Special Forces team in Ronie Kendig‘s Conspiracy of Silence takes a quick break to enjoy some local cuisine. The chuckle-worthy, mouth-watering scene that may or may not bring someone’s manliness into question, not only had my stomach growling, but also sent me running to the kitchen to try out one of the dishes for myself.

As one who loves to eat, I couldn’t resist exploring some typical Israeli foods (and a spice) and sharing them with you.

  1. Shakshuka — Traditionally a breakfast dish, it consists of poached eggs over a spicy tomato sauce with peppers, onion, garlic, cumin, and paprika. Typically served in a cast iron pan with pita or bread to dip in the sauce, this dish makes an appearance in Kendig’s novel.  Locals recommend eating it at: Dr Shakshuka in Jaffa.

    shakshuka

    If Ram eats it, so will I! My first attempt at making shakshuka.

  2. Falafel — A deep-fried ball or patty made of chickpeas, it is often served in a pita topped with salads, pickled vegetables,  and drizzled with tahini and hot sauce. Locals recommend eating it at: Falafel Dvora in Karkur.falafel
  3. Shawarma — A middle eastern way of preparing meat in which lamb, chicken, beef, or turkey is skewered on a spit and cooked slowly on a rotating grill. When finished, shavings are cut off the block and served by pocketing the meat in a pita or flatbread with a variety of salads, veggies, and sauces. Locals recommend eating it at: Haj Khil in Jaffa
  4. Hummus — No list of must-eat foods in Israel would be complete without hummus, a creamy dip made of blended chickpeas, tahini, olive oil, lemon juice, salt, and garlic. While this is the classic version, store shelves brim with options, including Roasted Red Pepper Hummus, Sun Dried Tomato Hummus, and Roasted Pine Nut Hummus. My favorite had a hot kick to it. Locals recommend eating it at: Humus Ben Sira in Jerusalem and Abu Michel in Lod. hummus
  5. Baklava is a rich, sweet dessert made with layers of filo dough filled with nuts and held together by syrup or honey. Locals recommend eating it at: Diana Restaurant and Mahroum Sweets in Nazareth.baklava
  6. Zaatar — Though technically not food, this middle eastern spice is a staple in Israeli kitchens. The sesame seeds, sumac, thyme, oregano, and salt blend is used to season meat and vegetables, to garnish hummus, and to eat with olive oil over pita.zaatar
  7. Sufganiyot — Considering that Hanukkah is two days away, I couldn’t fail to mention the doughnut-like pastry that only makes an appearance once a year for the festival of lights. Deep fried and topped with powdered sugar, the traditional filling (and my favorite!) is jelly, though they can also be found with custard, chocolate, and caramel.

All this talk of food has made me hungry. What about you? However, before anyone heads to the kitchen, I have an exciting event to share!

Giveaway

Hop on over to Ronie’s website for a chance to win awesome prizes!

conspiracy-giveaway

eli-signature