Swoony Saturdays – Adrien Delaporte

Welcome! Welcome! Swoony Saturdays are your opportunity to be introduced to a book hero who fits high quality hero characteristics. (okay, so he just makes us weak in the knees for all kinds of reasons, but you get the point)

The photos involved are chosen as the most representative of the heroes featured, so IF they look like someone you’ve seen before, that’s almost entirely accidental.

Earlier this week I posted a review for one of my favorite books, Kissing Adrien (you can find my review HERE). Next we travelled to Paris with Book Journeys (travel with us HERE). And today, we are swooning over the hero…Adrien.

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Who? Adrien Delaporte

Where can we find this dreamboat? Kissing Adrien by Siri Mitchell (Harvest House, 2005)

Personality summary: Confidante, funny, compassionate, and flirty, Adrien Delaporte is the quintessential French good guy. Since Kissing Adrien is first person from Claire le Noyer’s point of view, we don’t get firsthand ideas of what Adrien is feeling, but boy, oh boy, Siri describes this gorgeous specimen of European manhood’s emotions so well as seen through Claire’s eyes.

Adrien has been Claire’s childhood friend – now 10 years after their last meeting, they’re brought together again in the City of Love and Light to settle the estate of a mysterious aunt of Claire’s. The mystery of this aunt continues to keep Adrien and Claire in close proximity, and despite Claire fighting tooth-and-nail against how Adrien tries to get Claire to think outside the box, eventually the truth of her being loved and beautiful transforms this insecure workaholic into someone much more like she was created to be. Love does that, you know 😊

Kissing Adrien.pngWhat makes us swoon?

Seriously, this guy is pretty adorable. Funny, confident, flirty…AND he loves Jesus!!!!!!

He’s clever

He’s sexy

He’s French

Author Dawn Crandall had this to say: “his mysteriousness, his intensity, his charm, and his amazing enigmatic draw. His tantalizing conversation. The man oozes sexiness in the most casual way.”

He sees all the beauty in the heroine and wants her to see it too.

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He knows the heroine and takes special care to show her he’s interested in her.

The man is intense and a wee bit stubborn in the most delightful of ways.

His BLUE eyes

Smells like lime

This is Adrien’s “official” description from the book: “The interesting thing about Adrien was the synergy of all his parts. He was tall and lanky. Lithe and energetic. He had dark hair, bright blue eyes, and a perpetual tan. A largish nose and nice white teeth. But what pulled it all together was his personality – part clown, part diplomat – and the strange desire he created in those he talked with to make him laugh.”

He apparently has very nice ears as well, because our heroine Claire says this: “They were very nice. And clean. You can’t say that about everyone’s ears.”

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Kissing level of such swooniness: Okay, Adrien’s all around swooniness ups this rating even though there’s just one daggone kiss in the ENTIRE BOOK because when he does kiss…well, he’s as intense in his focus of that kiss as he is in the rest of the story. It’s a definite 4…if she’d written further kisses, I feel certain they would have been 5s…or higher.

Basic hero type: I’m saying he’s a Knightley with swagger (maybe with the intensity of Darcy sprinkled in for an additional swoon-factor)…what do you say? He’s the heroine’s friend, but he holds her to the fire on several issues to draw her out of her complacency and unhealthy thinking patterns. . When he realizes his own feelings, he’s intense in his pursuit, but still respects her uncertainty enough to gently ‘find’ her…at her heart.

How can I meet this swoony mister? Find on  Amazon

About the Author

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Photo by Tim Coburn

Siri graduated from the University of Washington with a business degree and worked in various levels of government. As a military spouse, she has lived all over the world, including Paris and Tokyo. Siri enjoys observing and learning from different cultures. She is fluent in French and loves sushi.

She is also a member of a strange breed of people called novelists. Siri wrote 4 books and accumulated 153 rejections before signing with a publisher. In the process, she saw the bottoms of more pints of Ben & Jerry’s than she cares to admit. At various times she has vowed never to write another word again. Ever. She has gone on writing strikes and even stooped to threatening her manuscripts with the shredder. Visit her website to learn more.

Kissing Levels & Hero Types

Book Journeys – Paris

This week I’m celebrating one of my favorite contemporary romance novels. An “oldie” but a goodie, this book was published in 2005, and oh la la, I was introduced to the story and the author in 2007.

Why is that important?

Well, as a budding romance writer, I’d had a hard time finding books that really fit the mix of depth and fun I was going for, and when I stumbled across Siri Mitchell’s novel, Kissing Adrien, it was a match made of fictional proportions.

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So, of course, I then purchased every book by her I could find. I’d also discovered Mary Connealy around the same time and felt pretty sure I’d struck gold! Two authors who combined faith, fun, and romance into well-written stories? Wowzah!

Now, let’s get to the Book Journey for today.

Kissing Adrien is a novel of self-discovery with romance sprinkled in. In the current flare of Katherine Reay, Siri Mitchell’s novel is about a young woman who’s allowed her creativity to dull beneath real-life expectations and has lost her dreams along the way. The story introduces a hero who is quite delightful in his own right. We’ll swoon over him lots more on the upcoming Swoony Saturday post, but for today…we’re talking setting.

Paris

Now, of course, there are a gazillion things to see in Paris, so we’re only going to chat about 5 and the #1 on the list is NOT the Eiffel Tower. GASP!

1. Notre Dame

Paris 1949 Notre-Dame de París, la gran campana
Paris 1949 Pinterest

Located on the River Sienne, the grand and gothic cathedral, Notre Dame rises into the cityscape with its memorable western façade, spires, and flying buttresses. Completion of the cathedral occurred in the 12th century and the building has been both a setting and character in many books, most notably the Hunchback of Notre Dame by Victor Hugo. For trivia’s sake, the largest bell in Notre Dame, and the one you’ll hear tolled on the hour, is named Emmanuel and weighs 13 tons. Here is a video you can watch to HEAR the bell toll for yourself!

2. The Louvre

Next on our tour list is…nope, not the Eiffel Tower! I know, I know! What about the most iconic building in Paris? Well, let’s take a side trip first to one of the most culturally exquisite buildings in Paris. The Louvre.

Hailed as being one of the best art museums in the world, the Louvre opened its treasure-trove doors in the late 1700s and features art from all over the world. With paintings, sculptures, and mummies, this former royal residence houses a truly breathtaking display.

3. The Eiffel Tower

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Next is the most visible symbol in The City of Love. The Eiffel Tower.

Gustave Eiffel at the Eiffel Tower,1889 by Neurdein frères
Gustav Eiffel at the Eiffel Tower 1889 Pinterest

Ready for this? It was originally designed as a temporary structure for the 1889 World’s Fair. So, #1 it wasn’t supposed to be featured on the streets of Paris forever and #2 it’s not sooooo old. Another interesting historical tidbit, Gustav Eiffel (creator of the famed tower), designed it with a true scientist’s brain. He ran experiments off the tower related to transmissions – and because of the tower’s height, it became a strategic communication tower during WWI to not only transmit Allied info, but to intercept messages from the enemies.

 

 

 

4. The Marais

Arcades of the Place des Vosges in the Marais, Paris
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If you’re more into the city-life scene with a wonderfully historic-bent, another great place to visit is The Marais. Similar to Manhattan’s West Village, except with a French twist, The Marais is filled with trendy shopping, restaurants, hotels, and pastry shops, yet the setting is pre-Napoleonic France. Cobblestone streets and elegant whitewashed buildings bring a bit of small town (though quite liberal in philosophy) feel in the center of a thriving city.

 

Alright, last one (although there are many more I could list). I chose this one for me because I WANT to see it someday and I love historic houses…or in this case…um…palaces.

5. The Château de Versailles

The Château de Versailles is the former residence of King Louis XIV and XV. A conglomeration of architectural extravagance and dazzling beauty, the palace boasts The Royal Opera House, the Royal Chapel, and the most visited fixture – The Hall of Mirrors. There are also extended gardens to explore and a wonderful history to uncover, so what’s not to love?

Now, if we add a very romantic guy named Adrien to the list of things to see in Paris, then this Book Journey sounds like a dream-come-true. Learn more about Adrien Delaporte on Saturday in Swoony Saturdays.

So….if you could visit Paris, what would you most look forward to seeing?

Who’s Got Character with Siri Mitchell

My first introduction to contemporary fiction was reading Siri Mitchell’s fantastic novel, Kissing Adrien. I’d decided never to write a contemporary novel up to that point, but something about the humor, suspense, and excitement drew me in, not to mention Adrien and France. Two years later, I’d completed my first contemporary romantic comedy. Funny what God uses to shock us into his plans J Kissing Adrien is one of those books where you read the last chapter about seven times before you can put the book completely down….sigh.

Siri Mitchell doesn’t just write in the contemporary vein. Her most recent novels have been more historical, with enough emotion pumped through them to create a reality t.v. show. Each novel seems to hold a deep message that spans the years to relate to our struggles in our lives and cultures of today.

To learn more about Siri Mitchell, visit her website at: http://www.sirimitchell.com/

Time for Q & A:

1. Who is your favorite heroine & hero you’ve ever written? Why?

I have to say Claire and Adrien of Kissing Adrien. That book was my first in print and the writing experience was magical. Their relationship was so tender and playful. The story nearly wrote itself and they both seemed to sparkle. Some of my other characters in later books have been deeper and more complex, but those two characters were just pure fun.

2. What is the ‘behind the scenes story’ for the creation of that hero & heroine?  

I was an American living in France, just as Claire was. Although all of the cultural differences she noted and spiritual thoughts she had were mine, I have to say quite firmly that she was not a re-creation of me. It was fun to place my experiences into someone else’s life and see how they would change the course of events. The book was derived from a non-fiction manuscript I had previously written and the point of both was to examine how sometimes we mistake our culture for our Christianity. Adrien was a conglomerate of all of the French men I had the good fortune to meet. It was fascinating to watch how they interacted with the women in their lives.

Siri’s novel, She Walks in Beauty has one of the BEST heroes in it and boasts of Siri’s usual historical detail, but her brand new release, Unrivaled, has a hero of similiar stuff. You won’t want to miss either of these Siri Mitchell historicals!!! I think they might be my favorite of her historicals.

Kissing Adrien is still my FAVORITE contemporary of hers.
Character Creation Tip for the Day:

Joy. Don’t discount the joy of writing amazing characters. There’s a lot of hard work involved, maybe even some heart-ache, but the bottom line is that memorable characters are written Unrivaled Siri Mitchellfrom the passion that flows from the author’s pen. There may be frustrations along the way, but if you’ve been following the posts for the past month, all of the authors expressed the fun and joy they experience when breathing life into their heroes and heroines.

If there is no joy behind the process…no excitement in the creation by the creator, then maybe you’ve lost the purpose behind your writing. Joy of the author sets the pulse of the character.

 

Springs of Inspiration with Siri Mitchell

Anyone else ‘Spring Forward’ yesterday? 🙂

Hopefully most of us did…or at least have caught up with the ‘springing’ now.

To bring in the spring, I’m starting a month long series on Springs of Inspiration – spiritual change in fiction.

Siri Mitchell is my guest today. I just finished reading her newest novel, The Messenger, and as usual it was BEAUTIFUL! If you enjoyed her novel, Love’s Pursuit, you’ll get a similar flare with The Messenger yet set during the Revolutionary War. Two totally different main characters, of course – and I love them. Siri has an amazing way of getting into deep POV with her characters. I never imagined to find a hero in Jeremiah Jones -but WHAT a hero he becomes 🙂

So happy to have you with us today, Siri – and WHAT a blessing to have just been ‘inspired’ by your writing. Finished The Messenger, Saturday night.

1. What is your favorite inspirational (i.e. salvation, repentence, forgiveness,) scene you’ve ever written from one of your published works?

My favorite inspirational scene was in Love’s Pursuit at the very end of the book when my heroine finally came to an understanding of God’s grace. I cried buckets when I wrote that scene. I still cry whenever I think of that scene. (Thanks, Pepper! {sniff})

Sorry, Siri – if it’s any consolation, I cried when I read it.

 2. When you’re in a writing slump (or frustrated in your writing journey in some way) what is one verse that encourages you?

When I’m in a slump or frustrated, I always look at a card I keep in front of my computer screen:

 “Now finish the work, so that your eager willingness to do it may be matched by your completion of it, according to your means. For if the willingness is there, the gift is acceptable according to what one has, not according to what he does not have.” 2 Corinthians 8:11-12 (NIV) It’s very encouraging to me. I don’t have to match the novel I envision in my head. I don’t have to write the best book of all time. I just have to write the best book I can, using the skills that I have right now.

Great reminders, Siri. Thanks so much!!

God’s called us to write (or live) for His glory. He hasn’t called us to be anyone else than the person He’s made us to be. We look to Christ as our example, but we also are blessed with God-gifted abilities.

So we are called to use what he has given us.

Who we are.

Where we are.

Blessings,

Pepper

Springs of Inspiration Series

Well, I am certainly going to start this blog series, but I have to put it on hold for a week.

So…..

I wanted to give you an idea of the lineup starting NEXT week!

Monday – Siri Mitchell starts off the week

Wednesday – It’s all about fairytales with Melanie Dickerson

Friday – The week ends with the blast of Ruthy Logan Herne!

Stop by and be ‘inspired’ starting Monday, March 12th.

 

Springs of Inspiration Blog Tour

Time for my ‘seasonal’ blog tour with tips, clips, and hints from some of your favorite authors.

Starting March 5th, I will be hosting authors 3 times a week to share one of their favorite inspirational scenes from their novels AND one of their favorite inspirational verses.

When times are dry, writing slow, or life is hard – what do these authors do to find encouragement?

Stop by and find out.

Fabulous authors like Rachel Hauck, Mary Connealy, Ruth Logan Herne, Missy Tippens, Siri Mitchell, Janice Hanna Thompson, and so many more!

Songs of Christmas – O Come, O Come, Emmanuel

It’s a song of anticipation. A song born out of years of longing and yearning for the Promised One, the Messiah.

A song with the melody of a Gregorian chant and the celebrative chorus of angels.

O Come O Come Emmanuel ‘s author is unknown, but it was supposedly written in Latin in the 12 century and translated into English by John Mason Neale in 1851.

You can hear Casting Crown’s version here.

Which authors said that this carol was their FAVORITE Christmas song?

My favorite Christmas carol is O Come, O Come Emmanuel. I have always loved that one. Aaron Shust sings it sooooooo well. I think I like it partly because it just sounds so cool. And because it sounds very medieval. So when I was writing The Merchant’s Daughter and I needed a song for them sing at church, I looked up O Come, O Come Emmanuel and it was written a hundred years before my story, so I used it. It plays into two scenes in the book. It was perfect.
 Melanie Dickerson (author of The Healer’s Apprentice and the newly released Merchant’s Daughter)
 
 
 
 
 
Growing up, my parents had an album The Glorious Sounds of Christmas. One of the songs was “O Come, O Come Emmanuel” and the orchestration with the cellos and violins was just soooo soulful and moving, it gripped my heart and imagination every time. I could just see the Israelits traversing across the plains, searching for the promised on.
 
It’s still one of my favorite songs. I have the original album loaded in my iTunes!
Rachel Hauck (author of Dining With Joy and The Wedding Dress)
 
 
 
My favorite Christmas song is “Oh Come, Oh Come Emmanuel.” When I was growing up my church did a live nativity scene every year. This song was always a part of the show. There’s something about the melody of that hymn that haunts my soul (in a good way). To think that Christ was prophesied so long before he came as a babe in a manger boggles my mind. I can just hear the cries of the Jews, “Oh come, oh come Emmanuel!” as they cried out to be set free from bondage and captivity. In so many ways people are still held “captive” today (by the things of this world). Like those Jews of old, they can cry out, “Oh come, oh come Emmanuel” (God with us) and Jesus will come into their hearts, set them free and release them from the pain of the past. It’s hard to control my emotions whenever that song plays. The words in the chorus: “Rejoice! Rejoice!” transition the song from the bleakness of the mourner’s past to the joy of a life with God.
 Janice Thompson ( author of Weddings by Bella series and When Stars Collide)
 
 
 
My all-time favorite is O Come, O Come Emmanuel. The reason I like it doesn’t really have as much to do with the words as with the feeling and the mood of the song. It’s one of the few Christmas songs written in a minor key and it feels ancient. It’s very elemental and it reflects Christmas exactly the way I feel it. I spent some years in Canada as I was growing up and winter isn’t all glistening snow with merry blue skies. At least not to me. Winter is cold and treacherous and primitive; isolating and brittle, occasionally warmed by gatherings with family and friends. This Christmas carol could be the soundtrack to the painting ‘Hunters in the Snow’ by Bruegel: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Pieter_Bruegel_d._%C3%84._106b.jpg My favorite song, my favorite painting. They both evoke very strong moods and feelings. It makes sense that I would like them: I try to evoke moods and feelings with my writing too.
Siri Mitchell (author of She Walks in Beauty  and A Heart Most Worthy) – and of course, her answer is as poetic as her books 😉
 
Find out more Song of Christmas with your favorite authors coming later this week, Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday.
 

12 Songs for Christmas Blog Series

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas – so I thought I ring in the season with a blog series to help you rock around the Christmas tree.

Starting next week, some of your favorite authors will Deck the Blogosphere with some of their favorite Christmas songs. Don’t miss the opportunity to learn more about them and a little about the songs themselves.

From classic carols to newer choruses and popular music, there will be a grand array of music to jingle your Christmas bells with.

Next week, four lovely songs set the intro to this series:

O Come O Come Emmanuel

Mary, Did you Know?

The Little Drummer Boy

I’ll Be Home For Christmas

Stop by to learn which authors picked which song – from Melanie Dickerson, Siri Mitchell, Tina Radcliffe, Deeanne Gist, Rachel Hauck – and more.

May your days be merry and bright…and don’t forget to join in the Christmas fun.

Blessings,

The Yearning

Tomorrow is the first day of Advent – the time in which many Christians celebrate the ‘coming of the Messiah’.

Emmanuel – God with Us.

In celebration of this wonderful God-gift and in anticipation of His coming, our choir is singing a series of fantastic choir anthems. The first song is a new arrangement known as The Yearning by Craig Courtney. The words to this piece are absolutely beautiful.

There is a yearning of hearts weighed down by ancient grief and centuries of sorrow

There is a yearning in hearts that in the darkness hide – and in the shades of death abide, a yearning for tomorrow

Later on the piece reads:

There is a yearning for the One who visited His own and by His death for sin atoned

to bring to us salvation

Apart of beautiful words, the music stems from a feel of ‘yearning’. A call to all of our hearts that the Hope for our Salvation is not only real, but has already come. Jesus Christ

The fulfillment of every yearning in our hearts.

Follow this link and enjoy a new Christmas song for the season – http://www.jwpepper.com/10276203.item

And speaking of songs – starting in December, I will be hosting Twelve Songs of Christmas – a celebration of famous Christmas songs and some of your favorite authors with chime in as to why it is his/her favorite!

Come join me for visits from Julie Lessman, DiAnn Mills, Ruth Logan Herne, Missy Tippens, Siri Mitchell, Rachel Hauck, Mary Connealy, Deeanne Gist, and many more!

Conference Tips with Siri Mitchell

One of my top FIVE historical authors is Siri Mitchell. Her books have a unique flavor to them with deep threads of faith interwoven through a colorful story. I love her contemporary novels too, but (to me) her historicals hold so much more depth.

Siri is an encourager too. Five minutes with her will make you aware of how much knowledge and insight into the writing world she has to share. She is one of the quiet dreamers, an observer, and a creator of beautiful fiction.

What does this award winning author tell us to bring along to conference???

1.       A cardigan sweater (or some sort of wrap or jacket). To keep you warm in those air-conditioned hotel conference rooms.

2.       Spontaneity. You never know what kinds of information you’ll learn or wonderful people you meet if you break with the schedule you’ve set up for yourself and ‘go with the flow’ instead.

3.       Courage. To meet new people, talk to your favorite authors, pitch to agents and editors. You can do anything for 15 minutes, right? A conference is just lots of 15-minute intervals strung together

Love it!! I feel so much better about breaking up my conference experience into 15 minute increments. It certainly doesn’t seem as frightening that way 🙂

Siri, thanks for the wonderul tips. Will I have the opportunity to have a cup of Caramel Hot Chocolate with you again this year? Here’s hopin’!

You can learn more about Siri and her books at www.sirimitchell.com