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.

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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.

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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.