Sunday, January 22, 2012

Blog Tour: Chasing Mona Lisa (Review & Interview)

A hidden masterpiece. Protected during the war, becomes the target of a massive chase through Europe.
Who will win? The good guys - spies for the OSS or the Nazis'.

In their second book - Chasing Mona Lisa - Mike Yorkey and Tricia Goyer dive back into the political intrigue surrounding OSS spies at the end of World War II, as they show how Gabi and Eric (who appeared in their first book - The Swiss Courier) take part in their mission to protect the Mona Lisa - the French prized jewel - from German thieves.

"It [Chasing Mona Lisa], is history rich and full of plot twists," explained Goyer. "For me, I was most interested in the stolen art. I read a book Rescuing Da Vinci that fascinated me. And the spy part is just plain fun.

"One of my all time favorite books is The Spy Wore Red. I also wrote about spies in my Chronicles of the Spanish Civil War Series. (A Valley of Betrayal, A Shadow of Treason, A Whisper of Freedom.) It's the cleverness of spies that I like best I suppose."

Goyer said she became acquainted with the stories surrounding stolen art when she was in Europe, after touring salt mines iin Austria which were used by the Germans to hide art during the war.

"I was fascinated by those who did what they could to protect art, hiding it away in unexpected places. The Mona Lisa hung in a young girl's bedroom for part of the war--that amazes me," Goyer continued.

While the story surrounding Chasing Mona Lisa  is fiction, the novel is inspired by true events.

"The Germans did load up trains filled with art at the end of the war," Goyer said, "and many of the events that happen in the book, like the parade down the Champs-Elysees after "liberation" was true. The attempted theft of the Mona Lisa is fiction...as far as we know!"

Throughout the book, Goyer and Yorkey provide some twists and turns that often have "good guys" who turn out to be "bad" in the end, as well as some characters who seem compromised by life choices, who turn out to be "good."

"What we tried to portray is that everyone has their own motivations and goals and the truth always will come out," she said. "We tried to make the characters true-to-life and live with the desires and motivations of real people during that time. It's amazing what someone will do for a cause they believe in."

Goyer said the book was fun to write, because it incorporated characters from her previous work.

"Gabi and Eric were too good of people just to forget," Goyer said. "I was thankful to be able to spend more time with them! And in this novel I really love Colette. It was great to be able to step into the shoes of a curator for the Louvre. The mix of protector and servant was the essence of who Colette is."

Goyer said she hopes readers will walk away from this novel asking themselves several questions.

"I hope readers (examine) their own hearts and ask, 'What am I willing to fight for? Sacrifice for?' It's easy to live our lives without fighting for something we believe in," she said. "But maybe walking through this "fight" with the characters will make readers consider their own path and call."

Through writing this book, Goyer said God has taught her several lessons on trust.

"I needed to trust my co-writer. I needed to trust the process. And I learned trust through the character's lives," she said. "Do we trust we can make a difference? Do we trust God has a plan for individual lives in the midst of a big world? ... Yes."

What I Thought
Chasing Mona Lisa is a suspense-filled novel with a romantic twist. I enjoyed reading it. While it's a "second book," for the most part, you can pick up this book and read it as a "stand alone" work.

The plot, crafted around a Resistance fighter and a curator at the Louvre, truly has a lot of twists and turns. Good guys turn out to be not so good, while others pegged as "bad" turn out to be ok in the end.

The novel's descriptions let you feel like you are driving all over France and Austria trying to save the Mona Lisa along with Gabi and Eric. An unexpected kidnapping - and subsequent chase - provided an unexpected turn in the novel.

Overall, this novel is intense - but not terrifying. It's a great read that will keep you guessing what happens. It's would truly make a great movie because of the intrigue and suspense.

On the scale of one to five, with five being the highest, this book is a solid four. Once again Yorkey and Goyer have created a great novel steeped in history and intrigue. While they are not planning a third novel at this time, I would definitely be ready to read another book by this pair.

More About The Book
It is August 1944 and Paris is on the cusp of liberation. As the soldiers of the Third Reich flee the Allied advance, they ravage the country, stealing countless pieces of art. Reichsmarschall Hermann Göring will stop at nothing to claim the most valuable one of all, the Mona Lisa, as a post-war bargaining chip to get him to South America. Can Swiss OSS agents Gabi Mueller and Eric Hofstadler rescue DaVinci's masterpiece before it falls into German hands?

With nonstop action, Chasing Mona Lisa is sure to get readers' adrenaline pumping as they join the chase to save the most famous painting in the world. From war-ravaged Paris to a posh country chateau, the race is on--and the runners are playing for keeps.

About the authors:
Tricia Goyer is the coauthor of The Swiss Courier as well as the author of many other books, including Night Song and Dawn of a Thousand Nights, both past winners of the ACFW's Book of the Year Award for Long Historical Romance. Goyer lives with her family in Arkansas. For more about Tricia and her other books visit www.triciagoyer.com

Mike Yorkey is the author or coauthor of dozens of books, including The Swiss Courier and the bestselling Every Man's Battle series. Married to a Swiss native, Yorkey lived in Switzerland for 18 months. He and his family currently reside in California. For more about Mike  and his other books visit www.mikeyorkey.com

Online Resources
Link to buy the book: ow.ly/8sRzd 

Read an excerpt, watch a video and find out more here. http://www.triciagoyer.com/historicalfiction.html#ChasingMonaLisa  

Follow the blog tour here: http://litfusegroup.com/blogtours/text/13449999

It's A Contest!
Chasing Mona Lisa is the continuing tale of Gabi Mueller and Eric Hofstadler (first introduced in The
Swiss Courier). This time the due are on a relentless quest to save the most famous painting in the world  - the Mona Lisa. You can help Gabi and Eric with your very own spy pack when you enter The Chasing Mona Lisa Giveaway!


One passionate protector will receive:
  • iTouch (The must-have device for any spy. Camera, Maps & Music.)
  • Starbucks Gift Card (For all those late nights.)
  • Moleskin Notebook (For those important notes.)
  • Invisible Ink Pen (Don’t want anyone reading those important notes.)
  • Chasing Mona Lisa by Tricia Goyer & Mike Yorkey (Great
    handbook and intriguing tale for any spy-in-training!)
Enter today by clicking one of the icons below. But hurry, the giveaway ends at noon on January 31st. The winner will be announced at the Chasing Mona Lisa Facebook Party on 1/31. Tricia and Mike will be hosting an author chat (on Facebook and Live from Tricia's website) and giving away their books and a Book Club prize pack! (Ten copies of the book for your small group or book club AND a LIVE Author Chat for your group with Tricia and Mike.)

So grab your copy of Chasing Mona Lisa and join Tricia and Mike on the evening of the 31st for an author chat, spy training (do you know how to pick a lock? ) and lots of giveaways. 

Enter via E-mail Enter via FacebookEnter via Twitter
Don't miss a moment of the fun. RSVP today and tell your friends via FACEBOOK or TWITTER and increase your chances of winning. Hope to see you on the 31st!

Note: As a freelance journalist, I was provided a copy of this book by Litfuse Publicity Group.. This review was not influenced by a free book - just in case you (or the FTC) were worried about this detail.

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