I am very excited and honored to be a part of the My Favorite Things Blog Tour, hosted by Lit Chick. There is another author featured today, so be sure to check out the host blog for that info.
The purpose of this blog tour is to discuss our newly published or soon-to-be published books, prep our audiences, and get practice talking about our books. I can do that!
I will be discussing my favorite character, scene, and line from the next installment in the True Love series, No Greater Love. I plan to release it sometime before Christmas (alas, editing is a necessary pain). Here is the blurb for the story.
Princess Jasmine of Wynster has great reason to rejoice, for true love has prevailed. She is happily married to the clergyman her family had once rejected, the Royal Family has blessed the match, and she has just learned that she is expecting.
Jasmine’s joy is shattered by remnants of her past. The arrogant Marsden Prince is now the King. He demands a chance to win Jasmine’s hand once more. When the he learns that she has already married, he declares war on Wynster in order to claim Jasmine as his bride.
The tiny kingdom is outmatched. Marsden troops soon surround the castle, demanding Jasmine’s immediate surrender. The Wynster King does not give ground, vowing to protect her at all costs. Jasmine knows that her kingdom will fall and all her loved ones will perish if Wynster does not give ground. She sees a dangerous path that may lead to peace. Leaving the castle walls to approach the enemy may prove suicidal, or it may change everything.
NO GREATER LOVE follows the Wynster Royal Family as they discover the meaning of sacrifice, but also of grace, forgiveness, and the power of God.
This is a hard one, because my two favorite characters will always be Jasmine and Trevor. But for this story, I’m going to have to go with a different choice and talk about a character that I didn’t like before this book began – Caleb.
If you read the first book, you know that Caleb was pretty much a royal jerk. He is the oldest of King Jeran’s line, first in line for the throne, and his wife pretty much raised Jasmine for half her life. During the last story, Jasmine was in serious trouble. Monique, Caleb’s wife, begged him to intervene on his sister’s behalf. Caleb tried, but was threatened with losing his chance for the throne if he pursued it further. Prince Caleb dropped the matter and refused to intervene on his sister’s behalf again.
Now that you know what Caleb was, let me tell you who Caleb turns out to be – a decisive King, a competent ruler, and a very protective big brother to his little sister. I honestly enjoyed following Caleb in this story more than following Trevor. Caleb was the man with the plan. King Caleb makes it clear early on that he will not back down to the enemy since that will mean placing his beloved sister in harm’s way. When things go badly with the war efforts, no one takes it harder than King Caleb.
I won’t give it all away, but the change Caleb goes through in this story makes him my favorite character.
My favorite scene in this story follows Trevor, King Caleb, and the princes. Jasmine is taken away, and the Wynster contingent is traveling to rescue her. Prince William has been mortally wounded in a battle. The angry princes turn to the clergyman, Trevor, asking him why his God has let this horrible thing happen.
After two days of the vigil, Vincent swore. He turned to Trevor. “You speak of a loving God. Tell me, how does this fit with the one you speak of?”
Trevor faced the angry prince. “I do not have all the answers, Vincent. I merely know the One who does.”
Elliot joined in. “You speak in riddles now? He will die here, in a foreign land, because he chose to ride and save his sister. You say you speak to God? Then prove it!”
Caleb knew that one word from him would silence them both. He was the King. But Trevor, sensing the coming objection, held his hand out toward him. Let them speak.
Trevor set his plate down and faced Elliot and Vincent as they sat across from them. William lay still on the camp bed inside the tent hastily erected around him for shelter. The physician had removed the arrow, placed a bandage over the wound, and told them to call him if William woke. He had not. So the brothers settled in on either side of the man, waiting for the end. Vincent and Elliot guarded William’s right side. Caleb and Trevor sat to William’s left.
“It is a dangerous thing to challenge God, my princes. You are angry. You have questions. I am the same way. But I learned long ago that God’s ways are not our own. He has a great and mighty plan which is better than ours.”
“That doesn’t answer anything!” Vincent replied. “You tell me this is part of a plan and I that I should like it?”
“I did not say that. I said it would be better than what we planned.”
“I do not believe you,” Elliot interjected. “You are not welcome here, clergyman. Go speak your lies elsewhere.”
Trevor started to rise, but Caleb spoke as he glared at his brothers. “No. Stay, Trevor. You are welcome here. Regardless of what these two say. They are merely angry and choose to speak unwisely.”
The clergyman settled back into his spot by Caleb’s left.
Vincent drank from his cup and swore. “I’m with Elliot. Prove to us you speak to God. And we will listen as to why our brother dies.”
***After he tells them a great deal, proving just that, he answers their original question.***
“Do not ride further on guilt, my princes. I tell you with certainty that your sister forgave you everything before she left the castle walls. Both for the things of the past and the pain of her present. Because she loves you.
“I do not know why your brother dies now. I do not know why your first efforts of rescue have failed. But, again, you are faced with the meaning of sacrifice.
“Your brother has fought honorably. His pain and yours grieves my heart. He is but a pawn in this war. And his sacrifice helped your kingdom win this land. You can curse his death and storm the castle to avenge your brother and your sister. Or you can accept it and go on with your mission, knowing that his life was given in a measure to further your cause.”
While I have several favorite lines, this one makes me smile every time I read it. Jasmine has just been taken captive by the enemy. They’re about to ride away on horses, and Jasmine recognizes the horses as ones belonging to her family. The enemy has claimed Abraham, her husband’s horse. Jasmine’s inward thoughts after she is told of this fact is priceless.
“I thought you’d recognize the castle horses. Seemed like a waste to kill them, so we drafted them into our army.” He moved forward and patted Abraham’s neck. “Thought it was only appropriate I take this one myself.”
Bite him, Abraham. Real hard.
Thank you for reading through my post that was probably way too long. Be sure to check out Lara Williard and N. N. Light on next week’s stop of the Blog Tour! And check out Lit Chick to read the other stop in today’s blog tour!
If you’re interested in reading the series, you can check out the first book here.