Thursday, 4 February 2010

Character Spotlight ~ Jennifer AlLee's Nick Shepherd & Maura Sullivan with giveaway

Today the spotlight shines on............................Nick Shepherd & Maura Sullivan

Jennifer AlLee's novel, The Pastor's Wife is garnering terrific reviews highlighting the authenticity of the characters and the genuine love story that unfolds. I'm looking forward to reading Jennifer's book so look for my review to come. Imaging Matt Damon as Nick won't be too hard a task ;-) Over to you, Jennifer:~

Brief physical description

Nick Shepherd is an average guy. He's not quite six feet tall, with sandy hair, grey-blue eyes and a great smile. What makes Nick so attractive is the depth of his compassion. Of course, that's also what gets him in trouble.

Maura Sullivan is beautiful in a girl-next-door kind of way. She's half Irish, so she's got dark hair and fair skin. But because she grew up in a California beach town, that fair skin is smattered with freckles.

Actor/famous person

When I think of Nick, I see a lighter-haired Matt Damon.

Maura's a little harder to pin down, but Evangeline Lily comes pretty close.

Strengths and weaknesses

Nick takes his commitments very seriously, which is a strength that turns into a weakness. He loves Maura, but he also feels called to care for the congregation. In his desire to live up to his own expectations of what a good pastor should be, he forgets to love his wife as Christ loved the church.

Maura is a passionate woman. She loves deeply, which means she expects the same in return. When Nick starts putting the needs of the congregation ahead of their marriage, she feels betrayed. Then, rather than talk to him about what's going on, she keeps it bottled up.

Quirk (if any)

Nick is a counter. When he's upset, rather than lose his temper, he counts to ten in his head. He has to do that several times in the course of this novel.

I don't know if you'd call this a quirk, but Maura hates casseroles. When she and Nick first moved to Granger, they were inundated with food from the congregation, most of it in the form of casseroles. The refrigerator and freezer were full of them. She'll be perfectly happy if she never sees another casserole again.

Your inspiration for the character

I was a church secretary for years, so Nick and Maura were inspired by the pastors and wives I've gotten close to. None of them ever had serious marital problems that I'm aware of, but I saw how stressful their lives could be. From there, I wondered what it would be like for a young woman who discovered that being married to a pastor was nothing like she expected. The characters really took on a life of their own after that.

Background to the story

As I mentioned, I took my experiences working with pastors and started asking a lot of “what if” questions. What if a young woman thinks she knows what she's getting into, but the reality of losing who she is and becoming a “pastor's wife” is more than she can handle? What if some other tragedy pushes her over the edge? Would she run? And what would happen if she had to return to the scene of her heartbreak years later? All those questions eventually became The Pastor's Wife.

Jennifer ~ thanks so much for sharing with us. It sounds like a great book :)

On Monday, the spotlight turns to Cerella Sechrist's Sadie, Jasper & Dimitri from Love Finds You in Hershey, Pennsylvania.

Relz Reviewz Extras

Visit Jennifer's website

View the book trailer

Buy Jennifer's books at Amazon or CBD

Open Giveaway

Jennifer is kindly offering a signed copy of her novel to one of my readers!

To enter, post a comment on or before Sunday 14th February sharing what you admire in a pastor's wife! Be sure to leave contact details :)


Jennifer AlLee said...

Thanks for the character spotlight, Rel. It was so much fun getting to cast my characters :+}

scrappy quilter said...

I look forward to finding this book to read. What do I admire in a pastor's wife....integrity and honesty. Thanks for doing these spotlights.

Jewelz said...

What I admire in a pastor's wife is integrity, honesty, and the ability to say 'no'.
Please enter me :)
joyfuljewelz (at)

Jennifer AlLee said...

Someone asked me once what I expect out of a pastor's wife. Simply put, I expect from her what I expect from any Christian... to live her faith. Honesty and integrity are definitely part of that. And Jewelz, the ability to say "no" is a good one, too. We all need to master that one!

jenniferinjupiter said...

For every church I've been part of, the pastor's wife has thankfully never fit into that preconceived stereotype people expect. So, I can't WAIT to read this book, and find out which of my real-life pastor's wives Maura is most similar to!
PS. Please enter me :)

Sheree said...

My mother is a pastor's wife and so I have seen firsthand all the amazing qualities of a pastor's wife. I'd have to say I admire the " stand by your man" commitment she has to my dad. I look forward to reading this book.

Renee (SteelerGirl83) said...

I would definitely say I think a pastor's wife should be easy to talk to and approachable. I've met a few who I've almost been afraid to have a conversation with but luckily that's not a problem where I attend church! :-)

xoxo~ Renee

Amy said...

My mom's was a pastor's wife briefly, and I would love to win this book, read it, let her read it (and then probably steal it back!) This sounds like a great book

Amy said...

Whoops...forgot to answer the question. I think a pastor's wife should be who she God through Christ.

Amy said...

I'm not *trying* to leave multiple comments..I promise. But here's my e-mail addy::

Merry said...

I love your spotlights, they're so fun! My pastor's wife is filled with love for her husband, family and others. She tries to walk by faith and be flexible. I do admire her!


cherie said...

in a word. . . compassion

Linda said...

Jesus with skin on. Let me be her natural self in Christ, allowing God do the work in her and not judge. Pray for her.

desertrose5173 at gmail dot com

rebornbutterfly said...

I love my pastor's wife! She's so much fun, and completely real :)
rebornbuterfly (at) sbcglobal (dot) net

Tracy said...

I know I don't *need* anymore books...

Could you please enter me anyway? LOL

What I admire in a Pastor's wife is a woman who complements her husbands ministry without becoming a 'two for the price of one' type of ministry team. A woman who ministers joyfully out of her own gifts is a wonderful gift to her church no matter whether she's the pastor's wife....or not.

Ausjenny said...

Please dont enter me I just finished this book last night (I read while the cricket was on but dont ask what happened in the cricket). Loved the book.

I admire that pastor wives have to give up so much of themselves being married to a pastor. They are always associated with being a preachers wife and often not thought of as there own person.
I remember a past Wife from here saying what she hated most was being introduce as the Ministers wife it was like she had no identity of her own.

Jen said...

I always admired their abilty to love God,their husband,family and their church members and still have time to make indiviulas feel that their life was important too.Pop me in please Rel

Laetitia :-) said...

Some things I admire in a pastor's wife (or, with respect to female pastors, their husbands - change gender of the following accordingly) - the ability to not be jealous of the individual attention and time their husbands do, at times, have to give to members of a congregation, particularly if the member is a woman. The ability themselves to deeply love individual congregation members, especially when they may have other responsibilities limiting the amount of time they can give to these relationships.

Anita Yancey said...

I admire honesty in a pastor's wife. This book sounds like a wonderful read. Please enter me. Thanks!


squiresj said...

My Grandmother was a Pastor's wife. She was always so kind and loving. She had to be there for others but she did it because she was that type of person. She was always helping others and reaching out to those in need.
My Pastor's wife growing up who later became my Pastor, was very special. I admired the fact she could be real. Not with everyone but when she learned my Mom's was a Pastor's daughter and knew people expected more of them than others, she could relate to our family as any other person. She has been a prayer warrior and taught me how to intercede for others. I learned how to pray fervently from her example.
My current Pastor's wife is so loving and caring.

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