Thursday, January 19, 2012

CHASING MONA LISA - Tricia Goyer and Mike Yorkey - Free Book

I know that this is a collaboration. How did this story come about?
Tricia: I’ve written a handful of books set in the World War II, and I’ve always been intrigued about how the Nazis stole art. When I was in Austria I heard about the salt mines that many art pieces were hidden in. I also read a book Rescuing Da Vinci that intrigued me.  That’s why Mike and I started the book with an action scene involving a train in Paris being loaded up with priceless art that was purchased or stolen in France. I was amazed by how that happened and I knew readers would be too.
Mike: From there, it was a matter of piecing together a plausible plot that involved Reichsmarschall Hermann Göring’s desire to steal the Mona Lisa following the Allies’ liberation of Paris in August 1944. We believe we have more than succeeded, and there are a lot of unexpected surprises along the way.

Did you find it easy to work together on it?
Tricia: The best way to work together was for Mike to write the first draft and then I came in behind and edited, added bits and pieces of scenes, and offered suggestions. He usually set me free on the “romantic” parts.
Mike: That’s what worked best for us. Thank goodness for Track Changes in Word.

That was a great invention loved by many authors. How did collaborating with this team impact you?
Tricia: Mike and I collaborated on a previous World War II novel, The Swiss Courier and we both like the same type of research, although Mike comes up with the zinger plot twists.
Mike: Although Chasing Mona Lisa has several of the same characters that appeared in The Swiss Courier, Tricia and I decided to make it a stand-alone novel.

What is the hardest thing about writing as a team?
Tricia: Mike and I both have other books, other projects, and other deadlines that we do on our own, so it’s hard to coordinate our time.
Mike: There are never enough hours in the day.

What are you reading right now?
Tricia: I'm currently reading Kisses from Katie by Katie J. Davis and A Stranger's Gift (pre-release to write an endorsement) by Pulitzer Prize Winner Tom Hallman, Jr.
Mike: I just finished Killing Lincoln by Bill O’Reilly. I was surprised how good it was, but he didn’t write it. His collaborator Martin Dugard undoubtedly authored the book.

How did you choose your characters’ names?
Tricia: I can claim choose Colette! I love that name. Mike did the rest.
Mike: Believe it or not, many of the names come from Nicole’s family (she is Swiss) or friends she went to high school with outside of Zurich.

Would you want to work on another book together?
Tricia: Sure, but we need Chasing Mona Lisa to do well.
Mike: So tell all your friends. This starving artist will appreciate it.

What do you want to tell us about the book?
Tricia: The action never stops. Every chapter moves toward a cliffhanger. We don’t want anyone to catch his or her breath. Oh, yes, the research is pretty fun too!
Mike: It’s wonderful how all the plot threads . . . and there are a bunch of them . . . all come together. We haven’t had anyone guess the ending yet, so there are plot twists galore.

Sounds like a book I’ll love. I’ll have to try to guess the ending. I love it when I’m totally surprised, but that doesn’t happen too often. Please give us the first page of the book.
Here is the A Note to the Reader (but the beginning of the first chapter follows).

The world-renowned Musée du Louvre, in Paris, France, started as a fortress when construction began in 1190. In the fourteenth century, Charles V converted the fortress into a residential chateau, and from the 1660s until 1682, Louis XIV, the Sun King, transformed the Louvre into the grandest palace in Europe. Within its walls today, 35,000 irreplaceable pieces of art are exhibited, including the three most notable—the Mona Lisa, Venus de Milo, and Winged Victory at Samothrace.

The Mona Lisa, or as she is called in French, La Joconde, greets visitors from behind a climate-controlled enclosure fronted by bulletproof glass. Over 500 years old, the portrait of the most famous woman in the world—Lisa del Giocondo, the wife of a Florentine silk merchant—measures only twenty-one inches wide by thirty inches tall. It is said that her eyes follow—perhaps even haunt—viewers. Her folded hands look smooth, and her smile, forever enigmatic. From the moment the Italian painter Leonardo da Vinci finished this masterpiece in 1519 a few years before his death, no portrait has elicited more scrutiny, study, and even parody in the history of art.

During World War II, the Nazis looted thousands of paintings and art works from the lands they conquered. Armed with the knowledge that their beloved treasures were in danger, the French packed up the Mona Lisa before the German Army overran Paris. She was moved from one hiding place to another, and she even hung in a little girl’s bedroom for a time. The Mona Lisa remained safe throughout the time of the Nazi occupation of France . . .

Until the Libération of Paris.

Chapter 1 (first page)

Thursday, August 20, 1942
Paris, France, during Nazi occupation
Dressed in soiled blue overalls and pushing a dented trash can, the solitary figure shuffled past two German sentries stationed at the Gare de l’Est’s archway entrance.

The brim of a felt hat covered Bernard Rousseau’s downturned eyes, averting the soldiers’ cold glare. No one will bother you if you avoid eye contact while performing a menial job. Cradling that thought, he moved past the guards into the gilded entrance arcade.

Gare de l’Est, one of six train stations in Paris and the main terminus for rail traffic to and from Germany, was moderately busy this summer afternoon. In stark contract to the pall of oppression in the streets, a festive spirit hung in the air underneath the iron trusses of the train shed where clusters of German officers—flanked by smiling wives and jubilant children—arrived on holiday. Sweating porters toted their luggage, struggling to keep up within the grand structure dominated by decorative columns.

Readers: Win an iTouch SPY Pack in the Chasing Mona Lisa Giveaway from @triciagoyer @mikeyorkey!
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!

Thank you, Tricia and Mike, for the interesting peek into your writing partnership and your book.

Readers, you can win a copy of the book here on this blog.

Leave a comment for a chance to win a free copy of the book. Please tell us where you live, at least the state or territory. (Comments containing links may be subject to removal by blog owner.)

Void where prohibited; the odds of winning depend on the number of entrants. Entering the giveaway is considered a confirmation of eligibility on behalf of the enterer in accord with these rules and any pertaining local/federal/international laws.

The only notification you’ll receive is the winner post on this blog. So be sure to check back a week from Saturday to see if you won. You will have 4 weeks from the posting of the winners to claim your book.

If you’re reading this on Feedblitz, Facebook, or Amazon, please come to the blog to leave your comment if you want to be included in the drawing. Here’s a link.


fredamans said...

I love Tricia Goyer's books! Please enter me for this read, thanks.

Freda from Ontario, Canada

Marianne said...

thanks for the great post and opportunity to win Chasing Mona Lisa. It sounds great!

marianne from Arizona


Anonymous said...


Linda Kish said...

This sounds like a very interesting story. One that I would love to read.


lkish77123 at gmail dot com

Tricia Goyer said...

Thank you so much for having us on your blog, Lena. You're the best!!

Great to meet the rest of you, too!

marybelle said...

I do appreciate a book with lots of plot twists. I want to be kept guessing right up until the end. CHASING MONA LISA is on my wish list.

Mary P


Robyn Roberts said...

What an exciting book (and opening) can't wait to read it and I'm planning to make it to the FB party.

coolestmommy2000 at gmail dot com

apple blossom said...

sounds interesting. thanks for chance to win

live in ND

ABreading4fun [at] gmail [dot] com

Angie Adair said...

nxious to read this one..

Sarah Elisabeth said...

Sounds like an awesome book!

Sarah from Texas

Merry said...

Chasing Mona Lisa sounds like an exciting, suspenseful story. I love WWII settings... add me please!
Merry in TX

Abigail Richmond said...

Enter me!
Blanch, N.C.

Abigail Richmond said...

I love suspense. this one looks very interesting! Thanks and God Bless!

karenk said...

thanks for the chance to read this wonderful novel :)

kmkuka at yahoo dot com

karenk said...

thanks for the chance to read this wonderful story.

karenk...from pa
kmkuka at yahoo dot com

rubynreba said...

Looks like an awesome book!
Beth from Iowa

Pam K. said...

I love to read suspenseful, historical books like this. I'd be very happy to win a copy. Thanks for giving one away. It was also interesting to read about how Tricia and Mike write together.


Sheri said...

I love the fact that this book contains intrigue, France and famous art. It sounds great! I would love to win a copy.

Sheri from Georgia

hspruitt [at] frontiernet {dot} net

Lane Hill House said...

I would like to read this book. My favorite is Historical Fiction and all we can learn beyond the "history" books! Chasing Mona Lisa, yes!

holdenj said...

Looks like another great book! Thanks for the info and chance to win.
Julie in MN

Sharon Richmond said...

Enter me I would love to win a copy of this book it sounds like a great story! Thanks and God bless.
Sharon Richmond
Blanch, NC.

Mona/Oh said...

Would love to win this book and the Ipod...thanks, Mona/Oh

Sarah said...

Please enter me in the drawing!!
God Bless,

Tammi said...

I enjoy Tricia Goyer's books. Please enter my name into the drawing for Chasing Mona Lisa.

Blessings from Tammi in Maine,


misskallie2000 said...

Hi Tricia, Enjoyed your interview. I love your books so I do want to read Chasing Mona Lisa. I have already put on my wish list.
Thanks for stopping by to chat and share with us.

I am from Middle Georgia

misskallie2000 at yahoo dot com

Aizess said...

I have been wanting to read this book- please enter me! It seems really interesting!

I live in New York

Kristie said...

This book sounds like the best book I have heard about in a LONG time!! In college I majored in French and minored in Art History. I'm also fascinated with WWII, the Nazis and the art they stole and/or destroyed!! Wow! Sounds like a book chock full of my favorite things. Amazing! I'm from Ohio. kristiedonelson(at)gmail(dot)com Thank you.

Melissa M. said...

I'd love to win this! Her books are some of my favorite modern-day fiction.
~Melissa from TX.

Nathanael Richmond said...

Enter me!
Blanch, NC.