Thursday, 30 October 2008

Character Spotlight ~ Christa Bannister's Sydney Alexander & signed giveaway!

Today the spotlight shines on...............................................Sydney Alexander

Christa Ann Banister has created one of the most engaging and smile-inducing characters in Sydney Alexander in her debut novel and its sequel. I have a sneaking suspicion that Christa has those same characteristics in spades!

Check out Christa's take on

Physical Description

With her dark brown eyes, decidedly old-school, slightly bushy eyebrows and style that can be both cutting edge and laidback, she's a modern-day Audrey Hepburn with shades of Jennifer Garner.

Rel:~ How cool that I stumbled upon! This is Audrey and Jennifer morphed together - LOL!

Strengths and weaknesses

Sydney is a likeable girl with strong opinions, a burgeoning faith and an insatiable love for people. In fact, she loves people sooo much that she's tempted to help even when it's not called for—especially when it comes to relationships. Sometimes she can be a little too sarcastic for her own good (she even jokes about it being her spiritual gift) and a perpetual jabberbox, (just ask her patient hubby, Gavin) but she's also fiercely compassionate, funny, a good listener and will be there for anyone—especially if he/she is going through a hard time.

Quirk (if any)

Does a fascination with garden gnomes count? Aside from that, she's got a quirky sense of humor and fashion and has a penchant for pondering wacky non-realities like what her life would be like if she'd been named something else.

Your inspiration for the character

Sydney was definitely inspired by my own life and adventures in dating before I met my hubby. But it was important to me for Sydney to have her
own set of qualities and life experiences, so she's just as much inspired by fiction as she is by yours truly.

Synopsis of Around the World in 80 Dates

Travel writer Sydney Alexander is ready for one particular journey to end: her frustrating search for a Mr. Right. But things are looking up: Just after landing her dream job, she meets an eligible round of bachelors.

Now Sydney will discover just how far she’s willing to compromise to land her dream guy.

Synopsis of Blessed Are the Meddlers

Sydney Alexander has found the man of her dreams and has permanently retired her serial-dating status. But soon Sydney finds her well-intentioned meddling causing cupid chaos with friends and family. She’s even on the verge of losing her dream job as her boss suffers the fallout of a failed lov
e connection.

Can Sydney help her friends pick up the romantic pieces while getting her career back on track?

Christa, this has been fun ~ thank you! I'm looking forward to reading "Meddlers" soon and interviewing you as well.

On Monday I will be shining the spotlight on Nicole Baart's Julia deSmit from her wonderful books, As the Leaves Fall and Summer Snow ~ just wait until you see the gorgeous photo of Julia!

Relz Reviewz Extras

Review of Around the World in 80 Dates

Visit Christa's website and blog

Buy Christa's books at Amazon and Koorong

Christa is generously providing a set of her books to give away, signed by her good self ~ what a great offer! This giveaway is open to ALL my readers.

To enter:~

1. Post a comment by midnight Sunday 9th November,

2. Tell me about a bad/funny/embarrassing dating moment (we all need a giggle in the current climate!)


Unknown said...

These are just so way cool! Love them all:-)

Ladytink_534 said...

Cool morphed photo! Garden gnomes kind of creep me out though... Nope no really bad dating experiences for me. Well... if there is then I've blocked it out lol.

Tracy said...

Here I was thinking oh I'd love to read those books and find there's a giveaway. Yippee!

My dating moment? Oh that's so long ago I almost can't remember. I think discovering after three months that Dh was telling other people I was his girlfriend....but he hadn't gotten around to discussing it with me! This would explain why I INSISTED from very early in our relationship that he propose properly when the time was right, or I wouldn't marry him.

Anonymous said...

My grandmother adviced me not to be too forward, but to let the guy chase. I knew this was good advice but the problem was I was leaving back to Melbourne (from Canberra)and he to Sydney and unless I ask for his address and phone number that would be the end of the story. I waited until the very last moment before my mini bus left. Guess what his answer was to my question!?! "I was just going to ask you for yours!!!" Well why didn't he then (even a minute earlier)!? (Yes - I also initiated our first kiss. Yes - I am now married to him. Yes - it was worth going against my grandmother's wisdom.)
Please enter me in the draw and I want to know your bad/funny/embarrassing dating moment Rel!!!

Merry said...

I can't recall a moment for me but my dh and I went on a date with our daughter and future son-in-law. My daughter was in a beautiful white dress. The waitress tripped as she came to our table and dumped a chocolate milk shake all over the front of her. We laugh now but she was so embarrassed!


apple blossom said...

I guess I lead a dull life. I can't recall a bad/funny or embarrassing date that I had.

I do recall a boy in high school that had a crush on me but the feeling wasn't mutual. We worked at the same place. He went to public school and I to private. He so wanted to date me, but I remember once he scared he clean out of my wits.

One night he wasn't working that night but had been in the store just because he wanted to see me. Well anyway after work another girl and I were walking out to our cars and unbeknown to me he was still hanging around. As I opened the door to my car something grabbed my leg. Talk about scream. I did bloody murder. He like to thought he'd never get me shut up. Yep, he was under my car. So I kidnapped him and mad him go with me and put gas in my car. Anyway the boss at the store heard about him doing this and put a stop to him hanging around when he wasn't working. No, I didn't marry him. Never even dated him. He was just a friend, until that day. Well, not really I did go to his graduation (he was a year younger than I) and He came to my wedding. So we are still friends though I haven't seen him since my wedding day. I still to this day will not forget that night.

Mary S said...

Sydney sounds like me. I am so sarcastic and talk a lot....I can't wait to read these! As far as an embarrassing dating moment..hmmmm

My prom date in highschool went to my church youth group. We dated for a while and at the prom, we were dancing and he kissed me. One of my guy friends was so shocked by that, he ran over to us and was like "woah!" I was so embarrassed that I made my date take me home (which of course gave everyone else another impression...won't go there) And I'll have to say the kiss was more of a starved fish trying to eat rather than romantic.


Chesh said...

My worst dating moment was when i wore a pair of tight pants and they split in the back. That was embarressing enough, but then I HAD to ask my date for his coat so I could get home with at least a shred of dignity. It must not have shaken him up too much. He's now married to me. LOL!!!

angelleslament @

Anonymous said...

It will be intersting to read christa's take on compromise in relationships, as well as the laughs associated with match making.
I can't think of any real embarassing dating moments, though my husband does get upset if i steal from his plate when we are out at a restaurant.
Louise Veenstra

ReadingRobin said...

Mine was a blind double date. My friend wanted me to meet her boyfriend'f friend. He drives up in a Mercedes convertable and looked like Tom Sellec. I almost died! We went to breakfast and I have a one piece jumsuit on (remember those). Once I got there and ordered I went to the bathroom. Not thinking, I forgot to move the top of the jumpsuit to the side. Oh yea, that's right, wet all over it. I had to sit there for almost 20 minutes before my girlfriend came looking for me. She had to give me her jacket so I could leave the bathroom. She took me home to change, I was too embarrassed to go back, so no marriage plans came from this date either!

Anonymous said...

My husband and I met in Holland doing a YWAM course and relationships weren't encouraged! One night we went for a walk in the heather fields and came back after lockup - oops!! So there we were trying to break in through a window... when we were sprung by the head of the school!!! Very embarrasing! But hey - they got used to us being together by the end of the course!
Please enter me into the draw - thanks Rel.

Edgy Inspirational Author said...

My husband and I met at a Bible study when he started attending the same church I went to. Not terribly exciting, but definitely a good place to meet your spouse. Anyway, I would SO love to get autographed copies of these books! I have read them both and they are sitting on my shelf just waiting to be autographed. If I get the autographed copies I'll make good use of the ones I have. :) BTW, I read the Meddlers in PDF form and if you look inside the cover there I am. :) Christa is the bomb!

Naomi said...

These books sound so great. Please enter me Rel. As for horror dating stories I promise I don't really have any.

Anonymous said...

The books sound really good I would love to read them, i don't have any bad/funny/embarrassing date stories though. would you please still be able to enter me.

Anonymous said...

I still feel embarrassed when I remember a first date when I was 16 with a guy about 18. Anyway I was so nervous I just sat there not saying a word (me not talking, boy have times changed). Anyway a friend of my date comes over to where we were sitting and asked him if he was dating a statue, cold and lifeless.I was so embarrassed and just wanted to disappear through a crack in the floor. But my date must not have felt the same way because he asked me out again and we dated for about 6 monhs before I moved from the town back to Melbourne to live. And his mates soon found that once I got to know them They coud not shut me up. Maybe that is why I talk so muh now, don't want to be called a statue again Wendyb

Anonymous said...

I remember being so embarrassed at not knowing what was on the menu at a restaurant that I just ordered the same as my date ( it was lots of pasta dishes and I had never had any and didn't know what any of the different pastas were!) I don't think I even liked what I ate and I remember not being able to finish off the dish.I now love pasta and we eat it often!
Please pop me in Rel.

windycindy said...

I don't know what category this experience falls into, but it was embarrassing to me. Then, later on made me laugh! I had been dating my now husband for quite awhile long distance! He had returned to my hometown for Christmas! One evening, he came over and had this adorable white bear for me. My mom and dad were in the kitchen and could see and hear our interactions. Jon handed me the bear and I hugged and thanked him.
He was acting sort of odd because I set the bear aside and started talking with me. Finally, he asked me to take a closer look at my bear. When I did, I found my engagement ring hanging on the back of the ribbon around its' neck! I screamed, cried, etc. Then, my dad and mom cried. That is my story! Thanks, Cindi

Anonymous said...

They sound great.I would love to win them. Thanks (kjm8704)(@)(juno)(.)com)

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