Wednesday, August 29, 2018

Sarah Monzon Combines the Past and Present with Freedom's Kiss

Welcome back to the Diamond Mine, friends! We hope you are finding some new and new-to-you authors. This week I'm thrilled to introduce you to an author who delves into some difficult topics in her stories, and she does it with dual-time stories, contemporary books, and her new foray into rom-coms. Meet Sarah Monzon.

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.

SW: Welcome to the Diamond Mine, Sarah! I’m thrilled you are visiting this week and excited to introduce you. Let’s start with some quick, get-to-know-you questions

Early bird or night owl? 

SM: Early bird

SW: Chocolate or vanilla? 

SM: Chocolate

SW: Pancakes or waffles? 

SM: waffles

SW: Libraries or museums? 

SM: This is a trick question!

SW: Yes, it was! This one is not. Book or movie? 

SM: Book

SW: What is one recent read you would recommend? 

SM: No Less Days by Amanda Stevens. I read A LOT of books and am always on the look out for a plot/story that is unique and out of the box. No Less Days is full of diversity in many surprising layers and a story that will really engage your mind and heart.

SW: I, too, enjoyed No Less Days and look forward to the next book. You live in the Pacific Northwest. What would you recommend someone visiting for the first time not miss?

 SM: A National Park. Hands down. Glacier, Rainier, Olympics…they are all simply stunning and
Mount Rainier in Washington
must not be missed. 

SW: Oh, I agree. The majestic mountains are worth the trip! 

One thing I love about the author community is how supportive everyone is of each other. Who has supported you in your writing journey (authors and others)?

SM: I love that, too! Some writing sisters have been on this journey with me from the beginning and others have lifted me up and encouraged me at divinely specific times. I especially appreciate readers and bloggers that take the time to write reviews and support authors in a really vocal way. Sending out virtual hugs to you all.

SW: Now that you’ve got a few titles out there, is there anything you wish you’d done differently? Or any lessons you’ve learned you could share with aspiring authors?

SM: I think the most important lesson that I’m still struggling to learn is that of focus. Keeping my focus on my writing only and the unique ministry God has called me too. Too often I get distracted by other things like sales numbers and reviews and easily get discouraged when all that stuff doesn’t ultimately matter. All that matters is that I stay faithful to what God has called me to do and the stories that He has given me to write.

SW: Amen! I think we all need to remember that at times in our lives.

You’ve written dual time, contemporary, and romantic comedy. Do you have a favorite genre? (By the way, I adored Bookishly Ever After and hope you are planning more romcoms in the near future) 

SM: *hides face behind hands* I know! I am so scattered all over the place genre wise. Do I have a favorite though… I don’t know! I like each for different reasons. If I *had* to choose, though, I think dual time might just edge out the others. Just. Maybe. *sigh* Must I chose? 

Side note—I am so glad you enjoyed Bookishly Ever After! That was a fun one to write. I’m planning on two more bookish type stories along the same lines. In fact, I’m working on one now and hope to have it out in a few months.

SW: Yay! More romcoms from you. And your writing variety isn't a bad thing. I've enjoyed all of them from the Finders Keepers series to The Esther Project (and have I mentioned how much I loved Bookishly Ever After?).

Which of your characters is most like you? Which hero would you accept a date with? 

SM: Almost all of my characters have a component of either my personality or my own backstory, but the character that is MOST like me is undoubtedly Emory Blake from Bookishly Ever After. Emory is basically me but with dark, curly hair. A bibliophile that’s awkward and has no idea how to make small talk…yep, that’s me to a T.

As far as which hero I would date, is all of them an acceptable answer? Seriously, I fell in love with each and every one of them while I wrote them, so it would be impossible for my heart to pick just one. Polygamy is acceptable with fictitious characters, right?

SW: Fictional polygamy is totally acceptable!

Tell us a little about your newest release, Freedom’s Kiss and what you hope readers take away from the story.

SM: Freedom’s Kiss is a dual timeline book with both a contemporary and historical thread from the 1800s woven together. In 1816, Winnie escapes slavery with her family, but instead of finding freedom to the North, they travel through Georgia to Florida hoping to find refuge in Negro Fort. Their plans go awry but are accepted among the Seminole people. 

Now jump forward 200 years..
(For those who are familiar with the Carrington family (this is the third book in the series), this book tells Adam’s story.) Adam is a criminal defense attorney turned food truck owner. He’s haunted by his role with a past case and seeks to make restitution for it but nothing he does seems to take the guilt away. Enter Olivia Arroyo in a hurricane of motion, blowing into his life but fitting like she’d always been there. Olivia knows what she wants—to become a chef—but the foundation of who she *is* is shattered with a surprising result from a DNA ancestry test.

Three people completely different yet all searching for the peace only found with a kiss from freedom.

I hope readers are encouraged by the themes of embracing the abundant life God has for each of us and the freedom found only in Him.

SW: Can't wait to read this one soon! It was a pleasure spending time with you. Thank you so much for taking time out of your schedule to visit with us today.

SM: Thank you so much for having me!

SW: Readers, Sarah is gifting one of you a signed paperback copy (US address only) of Freedom's Kiss. Keep reading to find out how to enter.

They were prisoners of the past. Could legacy be the key to set 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? 

Now available on Amazon


To be entered to win the signed paperback copy of Freedom's Kiss, leave a comment telling us what you most enjoy about the dual time genre (you can also tell us if you haven't read this genre yet). Get an extra entry by signing up for Sarah Monzon's newsletter or following her on social media and letting us know. 

***Giveaway ends 9/4/2018, 11:59 pm EST. Giveaway open to US addresses only. Not valid if less than five unique commentors enter.


MJSH said...

I love how authors can make everything come together in the dual timeline books and how “history” plays into present time events. So much fun!
I follow the author via social media (Facebook) and subscribe to her newsletter.
mindyhoung AT msn DOT com

Unknown said...

Thank you so much for having me!

Suzie Waltner said...

It is our pleasure, Sarah!!

Caryl Kane said...

Dual time line stories are the best of both worlds. I love them!

Kay Garrett said...

I do love the dual time genre. Before I read my first one, I was a bit leary, but if well written they are amazing. It's like seeing the best of two worlds or making more sense out of one by reading about the other.

I do follow on Facebook as Kay Garrett, Twitter @arkieclown, and Pinterest as arkieclowns.

I would LOVE the opportunity to read "Freedom's Kiss". Thank you for the opportunity to win a copy.
2clowns at arkansas dot net

Kelly Goshorn said...

I haven't read Freedom's Kiss but I loved the other books in this series! Sarah is a fantastic author!

Patty said...

I just read The Writing Desk by Rachel Hauck, great dual timeline story! I just love figuring out the connection between the two stories.


Paula Shreckhise said...

I lived Bookishly Ever After. It was so cute!
I enjoy dual time books because I love historicals and like to see how the two stories mesh together.
Thanks for the chance to win.
I follow on Facebook. paulams49ATsbcglobalDOTnet

Vivian Furbay said...

I like the dual stories mention in this book. Vivian Furbay jtandviv(at)q(dot)com

Nicole Cook said...

I love finding out how the historical and contemporary storylines come together in the books. I love Sarah Monzon’s dual timeline books. Melanie Dobson and Heidi Chiavaroli are two of my other favorite dual timeline authors.

Brenda said...

I like the way the author blends the story line like Jamie Jo Wright did in her 2 novels. How they parallel too.
I was already signed up for news letter and I follow on FB. I couldn’t find a Twitter account.

Brenda said...

I forgot to leave this.

Anonymous said...

I enjoy dual timelines because you get to experience characters in the same place but in a different time period. I find that very appealing but I’m sure for the author it’s like writing two separate stories. I’m already a newsletter subscriber and liked and followed on FB.
perrianne (DOT) askew (AT) me (DOT) com
Perrianne Askew

Caitlyn Santi said...

I love both historical and contemporary stories so for me there is nothing better than both in one book! My favorite thing about dual timeline stories is seeing how the past and present storylines intersect! Thanks so much for the opportunity to win a copy!

Chanel M. said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Chanel M. said...

I actually haven't read any dual time novels. I hope to read some soon. I've heard great things about this genre and maybe the Finders Keepers series by Sarah Monzon is the perfect place to start. Thanks for the giveaway!

I'm already a newsletter subscriber and I followed Sarah on social media (Facebook & Twitter).

Chanel Monroe, chanelmonroe5(at)gmail(dot)com

Caitlyn Santi said...

Forget to mention that I follow Sarah on Facebook and Twitter, too!

Karen said...

There's nothing more exciting than seeing how an author weaves two characters' lives together! I love genealogy and history, and I love seeing how our lives affect each other!

Mylittlebirdiebooks (at) gmail (dot) com