Ten Fun Facts from Menali
- I secretly like Than’s nickname for me, Nali, but I would never admit that to him.
- I love teaching and working with the little ones, especially telling them stories from Old Earth.
- I barely remember my real parents.
- I was named after my grandmother, who was named after her great-grandmother. It’s a name that dates back to Old Earth.
- I’m very neat. I like to have a place for everything and have everything in its place. One of my favourite chores in the school-wing is to sort the supplies.
- I’m fascinated by Old Earth history. I used to search the datablocs for any information about our home planet, and I would love to find the missing datablocs to see what’s on them.
- I enjoy being alone by the lake, and I have a spot I sneak away to whenever I can.
- Sometimes I pretend I live on the cruiser or another planet and make up stories about my life there.
- My hair is my favourite feature, and I keep it long because that’s what I remember most about my mother.
- I wish I could be braver, like Dee. She’s so reckless, it scares me to even be her friend at times, but she always enjoys life. Don’t tell her I said that, though, or she’ll be impossible to live with.
Author Lauren Salisbury shares a little about Menali, her favourite character:We all have things in our pasts, right? Issues that stop us from doing what we were meant to do with our lives. Things we try to avoid at all costs so they don’t happen again. I know I do. That’s what I wanted to write about in Conviction—that struggle with accepting heartache and pain, and the way we sometimes hide behind our faith in order to work around having to face it.
I initially thought Menali was the best-adjusted character in the series. She’s quiet and shy, but I assumed that was her personality type, nothing more. But the more I dug into her past, the more trauma and fear I discovered. She has reason to pause when pursued by a man like Than. There are some truths she definitely does not want to face.
Rather than deal with them, she’s built her life around a set of rules that she thinks she can follow to prevent further loss. She’s not truly relying on God in her time of need; she’s using her faith as a shield against living her life. That’s something I think many of us can relate to. We say, “When God wants me to move on, there will be a huge, miraculous sign to show me the way,” when what we mean is, “I don’t want to be hurt again.”
I believe we are sometimes meant to take risks, to be bold in both our faith and our lives, and to follow God’s lead, even into uncharted territory. I hope that’s the message in Conviction, but you’ll have to pick up a copy to see if you agree.
Than has spent his life ostensibly having fun while secretly fighting for his people’s freedom. A member of the underground resistance, he is only ever serious around his comrades and his family. When an injury forces him to step down from active duty and his reluctant nurse sparks his interest, Than finds himself in uncharted territory. The fascinating woman will have nothing to do with him.
Menali’s past has taught her to keep her head down and trust that God has a reason for allowing the human race to suffer on U’du. When Than explodes into her life, he refuses to take no for an answer and challenges all of her preconceptions. He soon has her re-evaluating her priorities and wondering what life with someone like him would be like.
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Lauren H Salisbury was an English teacher for sixteen years with an MA in Education. She is now a writer who dabbles with tutoring and lives with her husband and a room full of books in Yorkshire, England. She likes to spend winters abroad, following the sunshine and becoming the seasonal envy of her friends. When she’s not writing, she can be found spending time with family, reading, walking, crafting, or cooking. Courage is her debut novel.
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