A High-Flying, Poignant Romance {Book Review & Interview}

The lovely Sarah signing my autograph
book at CFRR 2016
A tender, riveting romance of two couples that will leave you flying high on the wings of God's grace that brings them both together.

Michael and Jacquelyn— or rather Finch and Jack— are two unforgettable characters. They've both been through a heck of a lot, and place their identities in their pasts&emdash;leaving little room for God to work. So when the sparks fly between them as Michael upholds a promise to a comrade to watch over Jack, they're both thrown for an utter loop. Sure that the other could never be attracted to them and that they're better off without the other.
Tell God your plans and He laughs, right? The sheer grace of healing these two go through both separately and together took my breath away and left tears in my eyes multiple times from beginning, to end. This fiery couple's rocky road to romance, and the story's WWII romantic mystery that all comes full circle in a surprising and uplifting way makes this novel a new favorite on my shelf, and in my heart. Not soon to be forgotten. The characters are friends now, their struggles and triumphs and heart-melting moments stamped on my heart's memory in the color of hope. Hope that the Ultimate Author can and does heal even the most wounded or guarded of hearts.

*Disclaimer: I received an early copy of this book from the author with no expectation of a review. These are my own thoughts and opinions. And I loved it so much, I'm absolutely buying a copy, too.ABOUT THE BOOK:
Sometimes the past reaches forward to bring hope to the future.

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.
CFRR 2016 with (r to l) Sarah, Rachael
Wing, and Mikal Dawn.
Three of THE best
Fun fact: Sarah and I were roommates at the first ever Christian Fiction Reader’s Retreat last summer so it’s an especial joy to visit with her again today. Sarah—I am SO glad you’re here. Thank you for stopping by to share all about your story and the journey it took to get from your heart, onto paper.

So this book is your third, another dual timeline like the first book in the Carrington Family series, Finder’s Keepers. This time your historical plot is set in WWII! My favorite. Tell us a little about yourself and how you first started writing.

Sarah: I’m a stay-at-home mom of two littles and the wife of a Navy chaplain. We live in the Pacific Northwest, nestled between the Pacific Ocean and the Olympic mountains. I’ve always had a heart for story, devouring books when I was supposed to be doing chores. Reading and writing pretty much go together, and it wasn’t long before I was itching to create some stories of my own.
When I was in elementary school, my school had a young author program where they would pick stories from students in each grade and then publish them in an anthology for the parents and throw a party. I guess you could say I published my first piece of fiction when I was seven! It was about a talking pencil that traveled the world.

What inspired you to write dual timeline romances?

Sarah: I really wish I had something profound to share here, but I’d be lying. I started writing Finders Keepers because I had the scene of my heroine diving in a shark cage in my mind. By the second chapter the ship had made it into the story and it got me to thinking what the story behind the ship was. So I went back and wrote a prologue…and then just kept intertwining that historical story throughout the present day one. I really loved it! Like, a lot.

Give us a glimpse into your process from that earliest draft, to following God’s lead to indie-publishing.

Sarah: Well, the very first draft of that very first novel will never get into the hands of readers. I started writing it when I was a student missionary in China between my Sophomore and Junior years of college. It took me over five years to write and it’s pretty much rubbish. I put it away and started on another project, The Isaac Project. Once I had finished the rough draft, I sent it through a big critique loop twice before I thought it was ready to go to the next step. I started praying, thinking I’d query agents, but every time I prayed God directed me to indie publishing. I balked at first, thinking indie publishing was just for those books that couldn’t make the cut. I repent of that thought now! Anyway, God knew what was best for me and my family and I’ve been beyond blessed as an indie author. 

How did the Carrington Family come about, and will there be more stories from them?

Sarah: I love reading series based around families. The Porters by Becky Wade. The Walkers by Melissa Tagg. You get caught up and feel like you are a member of the family. I wanted to write a series where readers would feel at home when they picked the book us.
There will be two more Carrington books in the future. One for Adam and one for Amber.

What’s one of the biggest lessons you took away from writing Jacqueline and Finch’s story?

Sarah: My awareness and appreciation for our servicemen and women, both active and veterans, increased greatly. Especially those who endured wounds, both seen and unseen. The sacrifices they are willing to make are truly humbling.

And now, what’s one of the biggest lessons, and biggest blessings, you took away from publishing this heart story?

Sarah: It’s a lesson I think I will be learning the rest of my life—Belief. In myself. And in the Originator of the story. I get really bogged down in self-doubt, especially when it comes to the stories of my heart. What will people think of it? Will they like it? I have to keep telling myself that the story came from a place of much prayer and that if I was faithful in the telling, then that’s all that matters. And that’s where the blessing comes in. In the form of my wonderful friends in the bookish world—other authors, readers, and bloggers. Offering words on encouragement and traveling with me on this journey.

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. You can connect with her on her Website, Facebook, and Twitter.

Words, history, and grace color my days here in The Burgh where I seek out the perfect coffee and red lipstick.

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