First Line Friday: With You Here (Carrington Family #4

Welcome to First Line Friday’s hosted by Hoarding Books.

Today I am excited to be featuring With You Here (A Carrington Family Novel #4) by Sarah Monzon. I was captivated right from the start and held in delight as each beguiling moment was expertly revealed with eloquent details that swept me off my feet and into the very heart of the stories. CLICK HERE to read my full review!

With You Here

Holy Roman Empire, 1527

          Early morning light shafted through the single window of Christyne von Heidelbraum’s bedchamber, spearing the lingering darkness of the clining night, yet doing little to battle the chill that refused to welcome the coming day.

 

Click on the title below to snag your copy:

  With You Here (A Carrington Family Novel #4)

 

Now it’s your turn!

Grab the book nearest to you and leave a comment with the first line. To see what First Lines others are sharing this week head over to Hoarding Books.

First Line Fridays hosted by Hoarding Books

With You Here (Carrington Family #4) by Sarah Monzon

Synopsis:

Holy Roman Empire, 1527
In the wake of Martin Luther’s religious reforms, Princess Christyne von Heidelbraum is compelled by her sense of duty to help ease the burden of her people. When she stumbles upon a dying man in the woods, she vows to aid him—even when she discovers the arrow shot in his back was put there by a heretic hunter. With both her physical and spiritual well-being in danger, she must choose between conscience or adhering to the laws of the Empire.

Present Day
Doubting her calling to become a hospital chaplain, Amber Carrington takes time off from her theology studies to volunteer with refugees in Germany. Working with children, making a difference, reconnecting with the conviction that once drove her—these were her expectations. An instant attraction to a professional soccer player wasn’t a part of the plan…and she can’t let him distract her from her purpose.
As a new Christian, Seth Marshall is determined to put his popularity as a world-renowned footballer to good use. Unfortunately, old habits and public opinions are hard to overcome. When he falls hard and fast for Amber Carrington, his former life—and her no-dating policy—may block his perfect shot for the woman he loves.

  With You Here (A Carrington Family Novel #4)

My Thoughts:

There is so much to love about this multi-faceted story! I’d be hard-pressed to choose a favorite timeline, as they are both engaging and endearing.  The characters are dynamic and they each have their own compelling story to tell. I was captivated right from the start and held in delight as each beguiling moment was expertly revealed with eloquent details that swept me off my feet and into the very heart of the stories.

I enjoyed traveling back to the reformation period and gaining a first-hand view at what it must have been like to live during such turbulent times. The historical details and vibrant characters pulled me in and had me holding my breath on more than one occasion. I often thought of my own ancestors who were French Huguenots and left France due to persecution. I was reminded of the fact that God’s people have been persecuted throughout history and even still today.

I really enjoyed getting to know Amber Carrington. The Carrington brothers each have their own wonderful stories, but I have long anticipated getting to know Amber. I appreciate that Amber has chosen to follow God’s calling to minister to others and share her faith as a chaplain. The tender love story between Amber and Seth both warmed my heart and kept me on the edge of my seat hoping everything would work out!

I have loved all of the stories in The Carrington Family series and strongly encourage you to pick up a copy for yourself to enjoy!

(I receive complimentary books from publishers, publicists, and/or authors, including Netgalley. I am not required to write positive reviews. The opinions I have expressed are my own.)

Favorite Quote:

About the Author:

Sarah  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.

Web Page // Goodreads // Facebook // Twitter // Pinterest // Amazon

  With You Here (A Carrington Family Novel #4)

Carrington Family Series:

 Finders Keepers (A Carrington Family Novel #1)

 12 Days of Snowmen (A Carrington Family Novella 1.5)

All Of You (A Carrington Family Novel #2)

Freedom’s Kiss (A Carrington Family #3)

Stand Alone books:

 The Isaac Project

 The Esther Paradigm

Bookish Novella’s:

Bookishly Ever After 

Literarily for Keeps

Novelly Upon a Time

  Book Nerds and Boyfriends (A Novella Collection)

First Line Fridays: Freedom’s Kiss

Welcome to First Line Friday’s hosted by Hoarding Books.

Today I’m happy to be featuring Freedom’s Kiss by Sarah Monzon. This page-turning, dual timeline story is sure to give you all the feels! A perfect blend of past and present that lingered in my thoughts and imagination long after I’d read the final​ chapter. Read my full review (click here)

FreedomsKiss

Georgia, 1816

          Freedom. No single word had the right to hold such power. 

 

In all honestly I really wanted to share the first two paragraphs! This book really grabs you right from the start and you won’t want to put it down!

Don’t let the fact that its #3 stop you from getting a copy! You can read this as a stand alone story. I will say that once you read this one, you’ll love Sarah Monzon’s writing and want more!

Freedom’s Kiss (A Carrington Family #3)

 

Now it’s your turn!

Grab the book nearest to you and leave a comment with the first line. To see what First Lines others are sharing this week head over to Hoarding Books.

First Line Fridays hosted by Hoarding Books

Freedom’s Kiss (Carrington Family #3) by Sarah Monzon

Synopsis:

They were both prisoners of their past. Could legacy be the key to setting them free?

Olivia Arroyo knows who she is and where she’s going—her sense of family responsibility a stepping stone to her dream of becoming a chef. When her employer refuses her the chance to move from server to the kitchen, she makes another opportunity for herself with the owner of a new food truck. But her life derails when a hidden piece of her past suddenly comes to light, and she discovers everything she thought she knew about herself has been a lie.

A single decision can have innumerable consequences—a truth that has changed Adam Carrington’s life. A criminal defense attorney turned food truck owner, he is haunted by his role in an unpardonable act and driven by his need to make restitution. Unexpected help comes in the form of a feisty, raven-haired beauty, but she soon begins challenging his kitchen as well as his heart.

Florida, 1816
Propelled by a fleeting hope of freedom, Winnie and her family escape slavery and find refuge and new life with the Seminole Indians of Florida. But their future is still uncertain as threats of war, a return to slavery, and removal to the west shake their tentative grasp on freedom. Will they ever step out of the shadow of fear to leave a legacy of deliverance?

My Thoughts:

I absolutely loved reading this latest dual-timeline book from Sarah Monzon. Both of the stories equally captivated my attention, and I fell in love with the characters.

This page-turning story seamless blends together characters separated by two hundred years, however, they each must learn that there is freedom in following God’s plan. We have the freedom to make our own choices, but it is in choosing God’s plan that we will find true happiness.

Equally engaging and compelling, both of the timelines in this story will have you eagerly turning pages. A perfect blend of past and present that lingered in my thoughts and imagination long after I’d read the final​ chapter.

I give this book 4.5 stars and would encourage you to pick up​ a copy for yourself to enjoy immediately! I have come to know that picking up one of Sarah Monzon’s books I’ll not only be whisked away to a new place​ but meet some fascinating characters. This book has found a home on my keeper shelf!

(I receive complimentary books for review from publishers, publicists, and/or authors, including Netgalley. I am not required to write positive reviews. The opinions I have expressed are my own.)

Favorite Quote:

FreedomsKiss

About the Author:

Sarah  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.

Web Page // Goodreads // Facebook // Twitter // Pinterest // Amazon

 

Carrington Family Series:

Freedom’s Kiss (A Carrington Family #3)

All Of You (A Carrington Family Novel #2)

 Finders Keepers (A Carrington Family Novel #1)

 12 Days of Snowmen (A Carrington Family Novella 1.5)

Sarah’s Other books:

 The Isaac Project

 The Esther Paradigm

Bookishly Ever After 

 

Interview, Excerpt & Giveaway with Sarah Monzon – Author of “All of You”

I’m am beyond excited to have Sarah Monzon here with us today to chat about her latest book “All Of You” and to share a excerpt from her book (Warning: you may need a fan or your fainting couch!).  Oh, and did I mention Sarah is also giving away a digital copy of her book? You are in for a special treat!

SarahSarah 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.

Web Page // Goodreads // Facebook // Twitter // Pinterest // Amazon

About “All Of You

AOYMaryland, Present Day
Jacqueline 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, 1942
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. (My Review) 

* * * *  Excerpt * * * *

(note:  Heroine: Jacqueline Rogers, nickname “Jack”)

Knuckles rasped against the hangar’s sheet-metal walls, and she looked up from her project. Michael Carrington hobbled in, an Under Armour shirt pulling against his chest and running pants hanging loose from his hips. The top of a white paper bag bunched between his palm and the crutch’s handle, and the stump of his arm pressed two Jamba Juice paper cups against his chest.
Jack dropped the staple gun on top of the pilot’s chair and rushed over, grabbing first the drinks, then the to-go bag. “What are you doing here?”
He grimaced. “Good morning to you too.”
She deposited the food on the workbench and turned toward him, hands on hips. “Good morning, but I thought we agreed I didn’t need a babysitter.”
Michael sat and lifted a bagel from the bag. He reached back in for a plastic knife and a small travel-size container of cream cheese. Using the table as leverage, he peeled back the wrapping and then picked up the knife. Every swipe through the cream cheese sent the small container scurrying across the wooden table.
Jack huffed and grabbed the bagel and cream cheese, yanking the knife from Michael’s grip. She smeared the spread over his plain bagel and then placed it in front of him.
Michael stared at the bagel, then lifted his head slowly, his eyes piercing through her. “Neither do I.”
She looked away, shame washing over her. How thoughtless can you get? Growing up with brothers, she knew one thing at least—men needed to be treated as men. Not as helpless children who couldn’t do for themselves or others. That was the truth of any regular Joe out there. Military men? Especially those highly trained in a competitive field such as aviation? Yeah. She would have insulted him less if she’d spit in his face.
And for what? Her pride? The justification behind the flash of frustration of his continued hovering presence died an agonizing death.
“I’m sorry,” she whispered, looking down at her hands.
“Forgiven.”
A to-go cup with a green straw entered her line of vision.”
“Banana Berry smoothie?”
The chilled drink cooled her palm as she wrapped her hand around the beverage. “Thanks.” She offered him a half smile.
Michael took a bite of bagel, cream cheese sticking to his upper lip. Jack’s smile lifted a little higher. Far be it from her to emasculate him again by handing him a napkin.
“What’s so funny?”
Jack pointed to her own lips, signaling he had something on his.
Michael’s gaze lowered to her mouth, held there.
Her heart skipped a beat as if it had decided to play hopscotch right then and there. She should say something, do something. Divert his attention. Because whatever had flashed through his eyes shook her foundation.
Interest? In her? Maybe she had only imagined the look. It had blinked on and turned off faster than a lightning bug’s glow in the dusk of summer.
His gaze met hers. “Kissing friends?” He winked. “I’m not sure that’s what Geyser had in mind, but who am I to argue?”

* * * * * *

Welcome, Sarah;  It is wonderful to get to chat with you today! That excerpt….SIGH!  We may need to pause for a moment and let the warm fuzzy feelings simmer a bit before moving on to our interview!

Q:   What is your favorite season, and why?
road-1072823_640Sarah:   There are things about each season that I love and I’ve lived in a lot of different regions of the US (South, Midwest, PNW) so my love of the seasons changes as much as they do. When I lived in Florida, I loved winter. It was the only time the heat wasn’t quite so unbearable, although it never truly felt like winter (winter must have snow). When I lived in Michigan, I loved spring. The flowers. The trees budding. The days growing in warmth. Right now, I live in WA and I am loving summer. Clear blue skies with breathtaking views of mountain vistas. If I *had* to choose just one, though, it would probably be fall. When the temperatures drop to a chill, boots and sweaters coming out as leaves change colors on the trees and fall. Toasty, comfortable, beautiful.

Trisha:  Fall is beautiful; we live not far from several large vineyards, I love the smell of the grapes in the air!

 

Q:   What is the best part of your day?
baby-1266117_640Sarah:
   Do you want a “nice” answer or an honest one? LOL. Will you think I’m awful if I say my favorite time is when the kids go to bed? I love my kids, I do! And I love doing things with them all day, but they are five and three and have 20x the amount of energy that I do, they never stop talking, and they bicker like siblings do. Some days I count down the hours to bedtime. That said, I couldn’t imagine my days looking any better, either.

Trisha:  LOL! I completely understand. You are not awful at all! After my son’s bedtime is my favorite also, because it’s quiet and I can just unwind and hear myself think.

 

Q:   What are some of your favorite CF reads from 10 years ago, or further?
book-863418_640Sarah:
   It’s almost easier to say who were some of my favorite authors from 10 years ago. LOL. I love Lori Wick. I refuse to pick just one of her books.

I’m also going to say Siri Mitchell, although she is a current author, I simply adore her early works like “Chateau of Echoes”, “Kissing Adrien”, and “Cubicle Next Door.”

But then there are the Corrie Belle Hollister series and the Stonewyke books by Micheal Phillips and Judith Pella.

The memories! There are some seriously good books out there from decades past!

Trisha: Those are some great books. Brings back good memories!

 

Q:    If we took a peek at your “recently played” music, who would we find?
mobile-616012_640Sarah:
   You’d definitely find Rend Collective, Lauren Daigle, Mercy Me, and other worship leaders.

Trisha:  Those are some excellent selections!

 

Q:    Did the plot-line or the characters come first?
Sarah:    Well, since this is the second book in the Carrington series, I knew the story was going to be about Michael Carrington and because such all of the Carrington family was already established. I also knew I wanted the historical thread to be WWII. Everything developed from there.

Trisha:  I loved Michael’s story! I’m excited to see what you have in store for Adam.

Q:    Which character took you by surprise?
Sarah:    Henry. I originally thought he was going to be a Royal Air Force pilot, but he refused to talk to me a few days, the stubborn man, because he was *not* a pilot, he was a journalist. He surprised me two more times after that too, when he showed me more of his identity, but I don’t want to give any spoilers. Shhh…

Trisha:  Yes! Henry surprised me also. I didn’t see it coming!

 

Q:    What was the latest you stayed up working on this story?
Sarah:    Actually, not that late. I don’t function well at night. Never have. But that’s only exponentiated after motherhood. I’m pretty much brain dead at 8pm.

Trisha:  I usually stay up later than I should… reading!

 

Q:    What is something that didn’t make it into the final copy?
Sarah:    This would be a great time to add a juicy deleted scene, except…I don’t have one. I didn’t take anything out of the manuscript after the rough draft, but I did add a few things. The emails between Jack and Alice were not in the rough draft copy, but early readers offered good insights that helped me craft those to more seamlessly weave the two stories together.

Trisha:  I liked the emails between Jack & Alice, it shared detail quite effectively, and brought together the story nicely.

Thank you Sarah for visiting today. It has been fun hanging out with you and learning the behind-the-scenes details of “All Of You“. I’ve enjoyed getting to know you better and I’m looking forward to our lunch at Baguette de France!

 

GIVEAWAY

Sarah is giving away one (1) digital copy of her latest book “All Of You” (open to US residents only).  The giveaway will be open for 1 week. The winner will be contacted via email and announced on this page at the conclusion of the giveaway.

 

To Enter:

1.)  Leave a comment on this post answering the following question:

Jacquelyn doesn’t like her full name and insists that people call her “Jack”.
Do you have a nickname that you prefer people to call you?

2.)  CLICK HERE to enter the Rafflecopter form and follow the directions.

NOTE: Earn bonus entries daily, by tweeting about the giveaway
using the rafflecopter form.

 

****** The Giveaway has ended *****

Congratulations Tami L.

All Of You (A Carrington Family Novel) by: Sarah Monzan

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

Synopsis:

Maryland, Present Day

Jacqueline 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, 1942

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.

 

My Review:

Sarah hit a grand-slam home run with this fantastic book! I absolutely loved the story, the characters and the dual timeline. I felt like I got to read two fantastic stories for the price of one. I loved how both timelines told their own story and how Sarah managed to weave them together into a perfect tapestry.

I enjoyed the fun references to other books of the period, and common phrases like “Ducky shinecracker” and “Doll dizzy”.  It really shows how much time and effort Sarah put into making this story as authentic as possible.

The characters of this story are rich with emotion and feeling. I felt like I made new friends in this book. After I finished the last chapter, I literally gave a sigh of delighted contentment.  I’m not going to lie, it took me two days to write my review, because I was rendered speechless. This book is that good!

While this is the second book in the Carrington Family, you can read this as a stand-alone and not feel lost. But honesty, Sarah’s writing is so fantastic that you will want to buy both books! I am eagerly anticipating reading more of Sarah’s work in the future.

(I purchased a copy of this book. I was not asked to write a review. My thoughts and opinions are my own.)

 

Favorite Quote:

“Oscar the Grouch called and he wants his trash can back”

 

About the Author:

SarahSarah 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.

Web Page // Goodreads // Facebook // Twitter // Pinterest // Amazon

 

All Of You (A Carrington Family Novel #2)

Finders Keepers (A Carrington Family Novel #1)

 

I’d love to hear from you:

Do you enjoy reading stories written with a dual-timeline? Do you have a favorite?