The winners of our March, 2015 Best book Character contest: Ilona O, Mark Praed and Phoebe Thomas
Congratulations to the winners! Scroll down and read about the books
The character's name:
The celebrity who should play Ilona in a movie: Bernadette Gregor
Submitted by Erika M Szabo
Protected By The Falcon: The Ancestor's Secrets Book 1
Ilona is a modern doctor and is ruled by logic, yet when she starts to develop unusual powers, her beliefs change. Nursery rhymes taught to her by her mother lead her to unraveling the secrets of her Hun clan that still exist with its fiercely enforced laws. A dangerous dark man stalks Ilona who is unexpectedly rescued by a handsome stranger, Zoltan. As their relationship grows, her feelings for best friend, Bela, starts to fade. When her life and the future of her people become threatened, she must gather all her courage and use her inherited powers to fight back. Infused with Hungarian legend, the twisting plot keeps the reader turning the pages of this extraordinary fantasy story. The Ancestors’ Secret series is an epic fantasy, heroic romance series with magical powers, ancient legends, love triangle and time travel that is a great fantasy lovers and also suitable for young adults.
The main character:
My name is Dr. Ilona O. I know it sounds strange having a last name that is only one letter, but I like it, because it’s different and easy to remember. The author revealed my deepest secrets, feelings and thoughts, which are a little embarrassing, but it made me almost like a real person that readers can relate too. I also love that she didn’t make me to be a stunningly beautiful and super strong heroine. I’m pretty and a bit exotic, I’m vulnerable and uncertain at times, but the author made me grow from a naïve girl into a strong woman who can overcome her fears and take her destiny into her own hands. I love the fact that she didn’t give me an easy task to discover my ancestors’ secrets. She gave me clues and made it very hard at times, but while I accepted the healing ability and acquired magical powers, she let me develop my personality through a lot of soul searching. I’m grateful that she didn’t make me a “ready-made” character; I’ve changed a lot as the story in her imaginary world progressed.
Excerpt from the book:
After a brief greeting, we gathered in the living room to begin our usual Morning Prayer. The role of leading the ceremony had fallen on my shoulders after my mother had died. Elza insisted on continuing the Hun tradition, so I obliged to please her. When Elza took her place between Ema and Rua, I knew she still didn’t want to touch me. What is she hiding? I thought, feeling hurt. We held hands, making a circle, and I clearly felt their emotions. Ema’s were clear and simple, as always. When she’s happy, she shines with bliss, yet her sadness shows with equal intensity. Although I felt the thorn from her early past deeply set in, she masked it well, but overall, she was happy and excited. However, I could never put my finger on Rua’s subdued emotions. He had made a sacrifice a long time ago, but I couldn't find out what it was and it had puzzled me since I was very young.I lit the sacred candles infused with herbs, and then placed them in a silver candle holder on a small round table. The ancient wooden male and female figurines holding hands stood between the candles, with our delicately carved Turul bird with a crown on its head and a sword in its talons. The falcon held widely stretched wings over the figurines as if protecting them.The statues had been in my family for centuries, they were small, and had a deep, warm brown color. The rich, shiny brown hue came from the hot herbal tea Elza poured over the statues every morning, as my ancestors had done for generations. Beside the statues was an ancient, dark leather-bound book. Its permanent place was on the Prayer table, and every Hun family had one. I had leafed through our book many times. The first few pages remained empty to me, but the rest of the book contained my ancestor’s names and achievements, written in ancient handwriting. Mom had said when I asked her about the empty pages, “The Book will reveal all its secrets to you, but only when you reach the age of Hun maturity.”
Te character's name:
The Celebrity who should play Mark in a movie: Hugh Dancy
Submitted by: P. E. Sibley
A Sort of Justice: A Mark Praed Novel, Book 1
My name is Alexandra Lansing, operative with the Commonwealth’s counter terrorist task force. I’ve been asked to describe my partner, Mark Praed. The first thing you need to know is that he is half-human and half-alien. He was raised entirely on Earth however, in what was known in your century as England. Physically, you’d never know he isn’t completely human. He’s tall and lean, with green-eyes and dark brown hair which he wears a little long, much to the annoyance of our superior. But the one thing Mark can do that humans can’t, is read minds.
Excerpt from the book:
Alex had almost forgotten he wasn't human. There was a long silence while she picked at her food. Finally, she regarded him crookedly. “Was it difficult for you,” she said tentatively, “growing up on Earth?”
Praed shot her a surprised glance, and she saw that he was debating whether or not to answer. After a long pause he said, “There was some unpleasantness.”It was clear he didn't want to pursue this line, but as usual, her curiosity got the better of her. “When did you know that you were . . . well . . . different?”
Eyes veiled, he toyed with his wine glass and didn't respond.
“I can understand you might not want to talk about it, especially to me, but I'm not being deliberately nosy. I'm intensely curious about things. Too curious sometimes. My only character flaw.” She paused, waiting for him to make a snide comment, but when he didn't look up, she went on. “There's no reason why you should tell me except that I'd really like to know.”His eyes, when he looked at her, were searching. She thought he might search her mind as well to discover if there was anything other than curiosity behind the question. Maybe he had, because finally, he answered her. “My father's wife made certain I knew it from the very beginning.” He said it in a neutral tone with no bitterness, but it was said. “She was descended from a very old, very proper family and made it quite plain she didn't appreciate having her husband's alien bastard under her roof.” With a sharp movement, he finished his wine, but continued to finger the empty glass, a faraway look in his eyes. “My first experiences reading minds came whenever I happened into her presence.”In her fascination, Alex forgot her food. “What happened?”
“Her hatred was so strong, I could feel it—physically—and it would affect me physically. Headaches, nausea, but only when I was in the same room with her. I was probably only three or four at the time, and I didn't know what it was. It was a couple of years before I came to understand. By that time, she had me packed off to school. From then on, I returned for holidays only when my father happened to be there as well. After he died and for as long as she lived, I never went back to the house.
”She was aghast. “But what about your father? How did he feel about all of this?”
He shrugged. “He was away most of the time, working. I don’t think they spoke much.”
“And your mother's people? Do you know much about them?”
But apparently he'd already said more than he'd meant to. “Ah, no. Excuse me a moment, will you?” Startled, she watched as he rose from the table, crossed the restaurant, and with astonishing speed, disappeared from sight.
The character's name:
The celebrity who should play Phoebe in a movie: Blake Lively
Submitted by Mandy Oviatt
My Lady Olives: Maiden of Migraines (The Olisbeth Mason Chronicles Book 1)
Revenge is a sort of justice . . .
Half-human Mark Praed has inherited a skill from his alien mother that makes him a valued agent at Commonwealth Intelligence Service: he can read minds. Praed uses his abilities to run a covert smuggling operation on an alien planet. But when his superior turns traitor and defects, Praed is captured, tortured and traded back to CIS.
Vowing to track down the man that betrayed him, he transfers to the Commonwealth’s counterterrorist task force where he is teamed with operative Alexandra Lansing, a beautiful but by-the-book two year veteran. Together they are sent to a resort planet for routine surveillance of a suspected arms dealer. Praed finds it difficult working with his new partner. Alex is all about the job, and is too intensely curious about his past for his liking. And when their simple surveillance operation turns into much more, he finds her actions stifling. Can he learn to trust Alex? Can he share his past with her? Even ask for her help? Or will his personal vendetta destroy them both?
Olisbeth Mason is a shy, awkward girl who has suffered with migraines so frequently that she is a social outcast, a freak without friends. She is the only child of a retired Army First Sergeant, sheltered and protected by her father after her mother's mysterious disappearance when she was a young. Olisbeth is a socially unaware know-it-all, finding comfort and headache relief in books and studies, and her great memory retention allows Olisbeth to be the smartest person she knows.
When she goes to college, she meets twin siblings Phoebe and Arthur Thomas. Phoebe, her roommate, is a vivacious medical student who is bright, charming, and hard to hate (even if she does act like she is the center of the Universe). Phoebe is Olisbeth's roommate, and has declared that she is going to be Olisbeth's lifelong best friend. Ladies' man Arthur is an athlete who goes from "dark and brooding" to "center of the party," sometimes even within a single day. He is a leader of one of the most popular fraternities on campus, and has decided to focus his affections on Olisbeth.
Soon, the twins become vital parts of Olisbeth's life, becoming her best friend (and boyfriend). They teach her how to spread her headaches to others.
But the twins are hiding something from Olisbeth: They are really Apollo and Artemis, and Olisbeth is Athena. And this incarnation of Athena is at the center of an ancient prophecy that will lead to her doom and cause dramatic changes to the face of Mount Olympus.
Phoebe Thomas is the current incarnation of Apollo. Phoebe is a medical student, and the roommate and best friend of Olisbeth Mason. She is 5 ft 11, blonde hair, tan, and the twin sister of Arthur Thomas, Olisbeth’s boyfriend.
Excerpt about her from the book:
Olisbeth spoke. “I met Phoebe last year, in the library. I helped her find a few books for some class she was taking, and she let me know about the room opening up at the boarding house, or well, that her roommate was leaving and she’d need another one. I didn’t really get to know her until after I moved in. My father... the First Sergeant nearly lost his mind when he saw how Phoebe had her side of the room set up: the purple walls, Playboy centerfolds, Baywatch girls, Melissa Etheridge poster, and the giant portrait of the “sideways smile” as she calls it?” Arthur nodded. He was half grinning as he turned Olisbeth's straw paper into another worm.
“Plus, she has, well… that short, spiky platinum blonde hair. And there she was, plucking away on her acoustic guitar, wearing that slinky black cocktail dress. In the middle of the afternoon! I think she was playing ‘Stairway to Heaven.’ It was absurd! The First Sergeant was okay with me moving into the house because Marissa told him that my prospective roommate was a med student.” Olisbeth picked her hair off of her ear, “He thought that a med student might be better able to take care of me if I get sick.”
Arthur laughed and continued, “Phoebe has never been shy. When we were kids, she did things to shock others so often that Phoebe became synonymous with ‘Troublemaker’ in our school. She always has to be the center of attention. When we were seven, she stole our dad’s red Mustang, and drove about three miles before our parents knew we’d left the house. She got to the highway when a cop pulled her over, and her response was ‘It’s okay Mister Powice-may-uhn, I have a OrangeePop, but I haven’t drank it yet!’” He adopted a fake, childlike voice in imitation of his sister that made Olisbeth chuckle.
“Even then, huh?” Phoebe’s love for the orange soda was strong, as if OrangeePop was the only beverage in the world, and on more than one occasion, Olisbeth had heard her roommate call the drink “Nectar of the Gods.” Phoebe drank the offensive orange soda as much as…well, as much as Olisbeth ate olives.
Arthur laughed his response. “It has been her favorite drink since we were around 5 and she first tasted it at a friend’s house. Our dad was angry enough that he postponed our planned trip to Disney and put us all in family therapy. Instead of leaving the next day, we went six months later.” Olisbeth giggled at the thought of a young Phoebe driving.
“You said ‘we’d left the house.’ You were in the car with her?” Olisbeth asked as she shook Parmesan cheese over the entire pizza.
Arthur cracked a slight grin. “Phoebe convinced me that we needed to practice driving before we went to Disney World so we'd be able to pitch in on the long drive...