Sunday, July 23, 2017

Summer Love: Interview with Allegra Spencer from "Count Me In" (book)

Character interview questions for Allegra Spencer of Count Me In:

Alexis: Hi, Allegra! Welcome to my blog. I am excited to interview you!

Allegra: Hi, Alexis! Thank you so much for having me here today. You’re my first interview! Mikal has been interviewed a few times, but for serious. I’m the one who had her life constantly threatened. *insert side-eye to Mikal here*

Alexis: How important is coffee to you? I noticed in the first lines of your story that you think in coffee illustrations. Why is a Kit Kat Latte your favorite coffee?

Allegra: Alexis. Coffee is lifeblood. I mean, it’s what wakes me up, keeps me motivated. Saves Tyler’s life. Ha! As for why the Kit Kat latte is my favorite, well…chocolate, vanilla, and when I’m feeling especially adventurous, I have Jael (my barista) add a splash of hazelnut. It’s peace, joy, and love in a (ginormous) mug.

Alexis: I prefer “white sandy beaches and crystal-blue oceans” to the woodsy outdoors too! I totally “get” you on this point. But does your love for the beach and calm waves contradict Tyler’s love for “the great outdoors”? If so, share how your different interests helped and hurt your relationship.

Allegra: Believe me when I say that Ty can find adventure wherever he goes. That man. UGH. He does have a special love for the mountains, though. And jumping out of planes. And helicopters. I mean, really. Who heli-skis? But I digress.

So at first, our different interests really hurt our relationship. Well, what relationship there was. If you’ve read our story, you know that Tyler and I are opposites, to put it mildly. If you haven’t read our story, I don’t want to give everything away, but let’s just say that our ideas of “adventure” are pretty different. That made Tyler hesitant to pursue me (the punk). But I’ll admit, it made me pretty resistant to the idea of a relationship with him, too. Now though, when we go to the mountains, I’m way more open to paragliding, so we do that as well as go hiking. He’s trying to talk me into going zip-lining up in Vancouver, but I’ve heard about one of those lines, and I don’t know. I’m working up to it. Maybe. 

Alexis: The chemistry between you and Tyler is electric! Why did you fight so hard at first to NOT like him?

Allegra: Oh, friend! Can I admit now that you’ve read it that I’m so happy Mikal threw us together? I mean, *whew*. Pass me a fan. 😉

But at first…yeah. I mean, he’s cute. Really cute, but he’s my employer. And the man is a risk-taker! I have a not-so-great history with risk-takers, and to be honest, that really scared me. I mistakenly believed that a risk-taker was too selfish to be in a relationship, always putting their life in danger for a momentary adrenaline rush without thought to others who love them. I learned a lot through our story, though, and am happy to report that I am still going on adventures with Tyler. Slightly more subdued adventures, much to Ty’s chagrin.

Alexis: I know that you were initially mad at your sister for setting you up with Tyler. But somewhere deep inside, were you secretly glad? Be honest!

Allegra: Caprice deserved to never have coffee again for that stunt. But I’ve grudgingly forgiven her. Ha! Okay, more than grudgingly. Deep, deep, way deep down, I was a little glad she did, despite the extreme embarrassment I suffered at the restaurant. I’m happy to report that waitress no longer works there. She apparently dug her claws into a model, married him, and now lives in Paris. So she’s far, far away from Ty.

Alexis: Describe your first date with Tyler. What were you thinking? How did you feel? Where did he take you? What did you do on the date?

Allegra: Our first date without Mikal’s interference (again, side-eyeing her) was magnificently calm but a little higher elevation than I’d like. Tyler took me to SkyCity Restaurant. It’s a revolving restaurant 500-feet up the Space Needle in downtown Seattle. I had the pan-seared scallops, which were divine. Ty had the mocha-braised short ribs. And yes, I had a bite and it was also so good. After, he took me up to the observation, much to my chagrin. But I’ll admit—it was stunning. Seattle is seriously a gorgeous city.

Alexis: Describe your first adventure with Tyler—paragliding! Why did you think you’d die? What was it like, soaring through the air attached to a hottie like Tyler? 

Allegra: Um, hello? However many gazillions feet in the air with nothing but a couple of pieces of layered fabric and some lines holding you up? Yeah. Deathtrap. Never mind that I didn’t die, that’s beside the point. You know, Story pulled me aside later and asked me if being attached to Tyler changed my mind about him at all. At the time, it just confirmed that we are so different. But looking back at the selfie we took, I can totally see the sparks and remember how comforting he was. Despite trying to kill me.

Alexis: What made you decide that you should give adventure—and a romantic relationship with Tyler—a chance? Do you regret your decision? Why or why not?

Allegra: Well, the contract kind of forced me into giving adventure a chance. Ty was just a bonus. Eventually. Once we sorted out our fears and differences. Do I regret my decision? Absolutely not! You can’t regret a gift from God, especially one as caring, compassionate, genuine, funny, loving, and—let’s be honest—good looking.

Alexis: Why did Tyler’s first prayer with you bring tears to your eyes?

Allegra: Tears? I didn’t cry. Nope. Sigh. Fine. I teared up. I think it was because when Tyler prayed he also released me from any guilt, despite the mishap being my fault. I’ve always taken on perhaps more than my share of responsibility, and even then he knew I would be hard on myself for what happened. Rightfully so, but it was a sweet moment to know that he forgave me. 

Alexis: Describe the first time Tyler kissed you. What were the sensations? What were your thoughts? Were you able to think? Lol. 

Allegra: Oh. My. Goodness. That kiss. I’m going to need a fan again. I’m not one to kiss and tell, but let’s just say I didn’t know what thoughts and words were when he kissed me, so I couldn’t even describe the sensations to you. All I remember was searing heat and lots of tingly feelings.

Alexis: What did Tyler’s constant challenges of pushing you out of your comfort zone do for you and how did it affect your relationship with him?

Allegra: Ty has such a passion for people, helping them grow and learn that they can do more than they think they can. He’s so good at it. I’ll be the first to admit, though, that it was super annoying when I first met him. I like safety. Danger can lead to pain and death. I don’t like pain, and I most certainly don’t like death. Yikes.

Through the course of our relationship, however, I grew so much, and that was because Tyler pushed me out of that comfort zone. Through his encouragement, I learned to take that step of faith in God and lead the life He wants to me. Jesus didn’t lead a safe life—He pushed the boundaries, made spectacular declarations of who He is, healed people when He knew the Pharisees would try to trick Him so they could put Him to death, and put His life into His Father’s hands, knowing it would lead to His death…and resurrection. Tyler and I learned together to follow in Jesus Christ's steps and take those risks worth taking. 
Though I still argue that skydiving is not a risk worth taking.

Alexis: What would you say is your most precious moment that you spent with Tyler? What made it special to you?

Allegra: Since you all know our story is a romance (a romantic comedy—apparently we’re hilarious), then you probably know that Tyler and I get together in the end. That ending is our most precious moment together. It was romantic, sweet, and life-changing.

Alexis: What do you want women who are like you, the ones who “live with a safety net”, to learn from your story?

Allegra: To let that safety net go. Don’t go all crazy and think I’m advocating putting your life in needless danger (*ahem* Tyler), but to step out in God’s direction, knowing that He has you in His hands and won’t let you go. And if you feel like you’re falling, know that His hand is under you ready to catch you. Be bold. Be fearless in Christ. Also, if you find a former NFL star who loves Jesus and you’re single? Don’t let him go.

Alexis: Thanks for the interview, Allegra! God bless you, girl!

Allegra: Thank you so much again, Alexis! I had a ton of fun. Oh! Bo and Story, mine and Tyler’s best friends, have quite the story, too. Mikal is transcribing their story right now and will announce the release timeframe in her newsletter later this year, so make sure you sign up for that on her website to be the first to know!

Author Bio:
Mikal Dawn is an inspirational romance author, wedding enthusiast, and proud military wife. By day, she works as an administrative assistant for an international ministry, serves in her church’s library, runs her kids to all their sports, and drinks lots of coffee. 

By night, she talks to figments of her imagination as she attempts to write while dinner is burning. And drinks lots of coffee. When she isn’t writing about faith, fun, and forever, she is obsessively scouring Pinterest (with coffee in hand, of course!) for wedding ideas for her characters.

Originally from Vancouver, Canada, Mikal now lives in Nebraska with her husband, their three children, and one ferocious feline. Connect with Mikal on, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest.

Blurb for Count Me In (book): Allegra Spencer has been living a careful life. Her safe job as an accountant is bookended by going to church and the gym. Okay, sometimes the gym. Fine. She goes to church. And the coffee shop. She avoids risk at all cost, preferring to stay safe in her cozy condo. Until her accounting firm goes belly up and she's out of a job. 

Tyler Hawk had a glorious career as a star NFL tight end. He retired on a high note and now lives a second dream of owning his own business and leading others on extreme outdoor adventures. But he needs help with his books--and his heart. When Allegra takes the job, sparks fly.

It's a case of safety zone versus danger zone, and in their minds, never the two shall meet.

Buy Mikal's book on Amazon

Enter this book giveaway contest for your chance to WIN a copy of this book by filling out the entry form on the Rafflecopter widget below: 

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  1. Sure why not? (That is if I wasn't already married.) 😉😄

    This is a cute one. Character interviews are always fun since you get a little my least from their perspecto6ve. Lol.

    1. LOL!!! Thank you so much, Annie! <3 Can I admit I'm kinda thankful that mine, while he loves adventure, is okay with being a homebody, too? ;) Works for me!

      And character interviews are a blast!!!!

  2. This book sounds very interesting I would love to win it.

    1. Thank you so much for stopping by, Lisa! :)

  3. Sounds like a really good story!

    1. Thank you, Karen!!! I'm partial to it, but I'm kind of biased, soooo... ;) I hope you enjoy it if you get a chance to read it!

  4. Oh yes!! I've found that being with any guy is an adventure in and of itself!!


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