15 November, 2012

#Special Feature :: Character Book Chat

Now Presenting:
*** SPECIAL FEATURE - November'12 ***
"RIVETING... a heartwrenching romance deftly evoking challenges between the sexes in Bible times." - Terry Long, Author of The Notorious Proposal

Book Review Roundtable: Our Hostess Debdatta with David, Michal and Ittai from Michal’s Window and Dave and Jen from Broken Build.

Debdatta: Today, I’m happy to welcome characters from Rachelle Ayala’s first two novels on b00kr3vi3ws.com. Dave Jewell and Jen Cruz from Broken Build, and Michal, King David, and Ittai the Philistine from Michal's Window. I can’t believe I’m actually meeting you, Ittai. Are you sure you’re not Indian? I mean, the resemblance to Kunal Kapoor is striking.

Ittai: How do you know Kunal wasn’t me in a past life? *winks* And you, my beauty, resemble Kajol, the beautiful Bengali actress. *reaches over and kisses Debdatta’s hand*

Debdatta: *Blushes* Why, thank you. You are my favorite character. But why is it that you didn’t get the girl?

Michal: *clears throat and glares at Ittai*

Ittai: Perhaps not in that life, but maybe after this book chat, we can have go out for pani puri.

Debdatta: Sure. Okay, let’s get started, what is your favorite book and why?

Ittai: That’s easy. At Road’s End by Zoe Saadia. It’s has everything: ambushes, knife fights, daring escapes, secret caves and of course a lovely captive woman who turns out to be intelligent and resourceful. It kind of reminds me of a certain princess when I came across her in the wilderness. *looks at Michal*

Debdatta: Hmm… I see, a man of action. How about you, King David? Did you find At Road’s End entertaining?

King David: If you go for those wild western themes, sure. But honestly, I don’t need to relive battles through a book. What I missed was being a father to my many children. I can absolutely relate to Matt Patterson in My Emily. His struggles with Emily’s health problems and their final goodbye reminded me of all the times I had to bury a child. The other book that interested me was Only In Her Dreams. How many times I wished I could have protected my daughter the way Guy did. Yes, he was absent because of his kingly duties, but he at least had the foresight to send a protector, a loyal one, to watch over her. I’m sure Dave Jewell agrees with me.

Dave Jewell: Oh, yes. I lost six years with my daughter because I *glances at Jen* well, never mind. It would have been nice to have a demi-god protect her. *laughs* Don’t elbow me, Jen. We’re over it, remember?

Jen Cruz: Keep this up and I’ll tell them my favorite book is Wedlocked. What was the tag line? If marriage is an institution, then the groom belongs in one? Talk about queen of broken hearts, Rebecca is played by a playboy and then bamboozled by a fraudster.

Dave Jewell: Oh, that isn’t fair. I’m neither a playboy nor a fraudster.

Jen Cruz: Then what were Claire and Melissa doing? Baking cookies for the church bingo game?

Dave Jewell: Sure, and my favorite book is Always & Forever – a suspected murderess flees her former life, remind me of anyone I know? Did you really think I wouldn’t have recognized you, Miss Cruz?

Jen Cruz: I could get you for sexual harassment. You know, like in Deep as Bone where that guy porks the nanny?

Dave Jewell: Nanny? Hey, I never touched you, not when you were the Napping Nanny.

Debdatta: Time out, guys. Aren’t you two engaged to be married in a month? I mean, Rachelle finished your book early and you’re supposed to be shopping the bridal registry.

Dave Jewell: Don’t expect me to be as nice as Ryan in Kat Fight. She attacked me first. Playboy and fraudster. At least I never stole code. Okay, so I had several girlfriends.

Jen Cruz: Married women. I’m really beginning to think there’s something about that name David, Dave, David, you know… and married women.

King David: Leave me out of this. In my day, polygamy was the practice.

Jen Cruz: Does the name Bathsheba ring any bells? Michal, don’t you have anything to say?

Michal [looking out the window]: You have a good man, Jen. He’s repentant and has forgiven you. I’ve learned in my long life to let go of bitterness. Besides, as a mother who has lost time with my children, it is not something you can ever recover from. Dave’s not blaming you, just wishing he had protected his daughter better.

Jen Cruz: I feel so guilty. I didn’t mean to hurt anyone. *wipes a tear*

Dave Jewell: *hugs Jen* Hey… We can put that behind us. Sometimes you make me as confused as Alex in Twenty Weeks. He couldn’t figure out why Maya was pushing him away. Oh, by the way, you’re not hiding anything from me, are you?

Jen Cruz: That’s Maryanne Torres in Rachelle’s upcoming book. Not me. I’m an open book.

Debdatta: That’s true. All your secrets were spilled in Broken Build. Let’s ask Michal what her favorite books are.

Michal: Ones with courageous women, whether they triumph or meet tragedies at the end. I love the stories about the journey, a woman against adversity, being oppressed or mistreated, yet rising above her circumstances through heartache and loss and gaining self-realization at the end.

Debdatta: Examples?

Michal: Secrets From the Dust is about a mixed-raced Australian Aborigine (Koori) girl who was stolen from her people and put in re-education center to be forcibly assimilated into the white world. They took the high spirited and daring Snake-woman-child and turned her into a subservient Margaret. Throughtout the book I kept hoping and praying that she’d find strength in herself, but sadly, she shed so many skins that she no longer knew who she was.

Debdatta: Yes, it was perhaps too much to hope for a happy ending, given the history of Australia and the Lost Generation.

Michal: That’s true. There was a moment when I thought Margaret had found love. But it wasn’t based on acceptance of Margaret as Margaret, but of an image of her, the way her lover wanted to portray her as. I could relate to that since for the longest, David thought of me as the princess, daughter of Saul, as an idealized role.

King David: Wait, what are you talking about?

Michal: Simply, would you have married me if I had not been the princess?

King David: Michal, you were the girl who captured my heart the moment I met you. Yes, it was in your father’s chamber. But you were friendly to me, a servant, and treated me like an equal, even a person to admire. I’ve never forgotten that moment. Such courage and determination. Unforgettable. And had you lived in the 20th century, you would have prevailed just like Danielle in Scent of Triumph. Of all the heroines in these books, she reminded me the most of you.

Debdatta: How so? Danielle is a French perfumer living during World War II.

King David: Ah, but Danielle could be Michal’s descendent. She was a Jewish woman who lived in France. Her son, Nicky, was lost to the Nazi’s in Poland, and her husband was killed while she was pregnant with her second child. Her family was destroyed in a tragedy, but Danielle persevered through poverty and hardship to give her family a life in America. She was doggedly loyal to her rotten second husband, and no matter the temptation, she tried to do the right thing, always caring and putting her family first. Passionate, opinionated, dedicated, and loving. A brave woman, like my wife.

Michal: A story with a happy ending, like ours. *they gaze lovingly at each other*

Debdatta: *clears throat* So, Jen, how about you? Which books did you especially enjoy?

Jen Cruz: *flips through pile and blushes* Can I plead the fifth? And why is Ittai looking at me with that knowing grin? Oh, crap. Well, at least Rachelle didn’t pick any with the naked male torsos on the cover.

Debdatta: Tell us, which books made you feel things you weren’t supposed to?

King David: I have harp practice. Some of these books have highly inappropriate material. Michal, are you ready to leave? *heads for the door*

Michal: Not yet. I want to hear what modern women find acceptable in literature.

King David: Good day to you, Debdatta. My harp is calling. *leaves*

Debdatta: Okay, Jen. The prude is gone. Which books left you tingling and moist? Which hunks had your breath puffing? Which ones do you wish you were the heroine in?

Jen Cruz: This is between us girls, right? No men allowed.

Debdatta: Ittai, Dave, do you mind?

Dave Jewell: Of course I mind. I want to know how naughty my future wife is apt to be.

Ittai: *grabs Dave by the shoulder* Come on, man, let’s go lift weights. If she’s anything like the heroines in Rachelle’s books… trust me, you’ll enjoy married life. *they leave*

Michal: Okay, Jen, spill. I’ve been criticized for being too sexy for my time.

Jen Cruz: Oh, well, ahem, yes your book was way too steamy. But as for this pile, I’d say the two romantic suspenses, Always & Foreverand Falling for Sarah were both hot and had heroes to die for. I couldn’t get over how understanding Zach was. He tried really hard to bring Lilly out of her shell. And Ethan in Falling for Sarah? An absolute doll. He was so afraid of hurting Sarah that he ended up hurting her by staying away from her. But when they were together, they just couldn’t keep their hands off each other.

Michal: I’m not sure God will allow me such reading material in Heaven. Were they very explicit?

Jen Cruz: Much more so than my book, but the one that really got me all achey and wanting was The Notorious Proposal. That scene where Michael charges up the tower where he locked his wife in.

Michal: Wait? He locks his wife in a tower?

Jen Cruz: Oh yes, he kidnaps her and marries her because he finds her unsuitable for his younger brother. So, in his most wise decision, he marries her himself and keeps her locked up.

Michal: Interesting. So why is this book the one that got to you the most?

Jen Cruz: There’s something about holding back, not doing things, trying to keep apart, and then not being able to help it that made it so much more romantic than the modern romances where they’re tearing the clothes off and jumping each other in the bathroom. In The Notorious Proposal, both Michael and Allie determine to make the marriage one in name only. But little by little, they bond in things such as riding horses, critiquing paintings, and watching sunrises together. Even though they see good things in each other, they resist their feelings. That’s what makes it all the better when they finally give in to both love and lust. That scene in the field of bluebells… That’s to dream of.

Michal: *sighs* Oh, I’m not sure I’ll be allowed such thought patterns anymore.

Debdatta: But Michal, you got more than your fair share of scenes in your book.

Michal: Oh, yes, David was quite a lover. Then there were also the scenes Rachelle cut. *fans herself*

Jen Cruz: Ah, the cut scenes. One could only wish. Perhaps I can still reenact them once I’m married.

Michal: Yes, you do that. And do take my advice. Let the past go. Behind that prickly exterior, Dave Jewell is a sweet honey bear.

Debdatta: I agree. Oops, I see Ittai raising his eyebrow at me. It’s been great having you review these wonderful books with us. Readers, please enter the giveaway and tell your friends. I have a hot date for pani puri. Gotta run!

Stalk the Author

Buy Her Books

Your Daily Bible Verse: AmazonCreatespaceBarnes & NobleKoboSmashwordsApple Itunes
Broken Build: AmazonCreatespace

Now for the Giveaway... There's going to be 3 winners this month. Yeah you heard me right - 3!! 

First Winner: Will get the Complete eBook Collection... Yes all 12 of them!
Second Winner:  Will get to choose any 6 eBooks out of the 12 listed 
Third Winner: Will get to choose any 3 eBooks out of the 12 listed 

Check out what's up for grabs:
Always & Forever
Only In Her Dreams
Twenty Weeks
Falling For Sarah
Deep As Bone
Kat Fight
At Road's End
Secrets From The Dust
My Emily
The Notorious Proposal
Scent of Triumph: A Novel

The Winners have been selected and contacted. They are:


  1. This was very fun! Thanks, Jen, for mentioning Always & Forever! All the books sound great! Anxious to read the ones I haven't had a chance to yet!

  2. Your character interviews are always so entertaining :)

  3. Very interesting concept! :) I had fun reading, thanks!

  4. Amazing! I just love you! Thanks for the Scent of Triumph mention!

  5. Great interview! Very entertaining! Thanks so much Debdatta & Rachelle for the great interview, that was really good reading! Thanks also for the great book recommendations. Good luck to Rachelle and all the other authors.

    Paul R. Hewlett

  6. i tried to use the rafflecopter, but it seems to be messed up.

  7. I had issues entering the giveaway as well. All of the books sound wonderful though!