Character Interview: Olive & Brander from Promise Me Aloha by Taylor Bennett

Posted October 6, 2021 by meezcarrie in Author Interview, Christian, contemporary, romance, Taylor Bennett, YA / 17 Comments

Please join me today in welcoming Olive & Brander from Promise Me Aloha to the blog to chat about weddings and Hawaii and all sorts of fun stuff, with a little help from their author, Taylor Bennett!

Taylor Bennett is a Jesus-loving, world-traveling lover of books, words, and stories. Receiving her first publishing contract at the age of seventeen, she seeks to inspire other young girls to reach for their own God-given dreams and do the impossible through Him. Since that first contract, Taylor has gone on to publish several more books, as well as articles with magazines such as DevoZine and Brio. She loves connecting with readers both in-person though speaking engagements and online via Instagram

Tradewinds #4

GENRE: Inspirational Young Adult Romance
PUBLISHER: Mountain Brook Ink
RELEASE DATE: October 5, 2021
PAGES: 232

How can two people come together when everything else is falling apart?

Olive Galloway always knew that Brander Delacroix wasn’t going to date until he found the girl he wanted to marry, and she’s still marveling over the fact that he decided to date her. But he did, which means it isn’t much of a surprise when he drops down on one knee in the sand the year after Olive graduates from college. What does come as a surprise is the sudden realization that she’ll no longer be Olive Galloway living at home with Grams and Macie. She’ll be Olive Delacroix, building a new life in Hawaii with one of her very best friends.

With that understanding, however, comes a tidal wave of pressure. Between bothersome dealings with soon-to-be in-laws, a mountain of over-the-top wedding preparations, and a trio of explosive family secrets, Olive begins to wonder if she’ll be able to make it down the aisle with all of her hair intact. She’s thankful for Jazz, her best friend, who is ready and willing to support her through it all, but she can’t help wondering why Jazz hasn’t found a happily ever after of her own.

As the wedding day draws near and one final devastating secret comes to light, Olive’s perfect world comes dangerously close to spinning off its axis. It will take plenty of faith and prayer (and no small amount of shave ice) to set things right before the wedding bells begin to ring and she promises Brander her aloha…forever.


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Aloha, Olive & Brander! Welcome to the blog!

Q: Around here I like to say that reading is my superpower. If YOU had a superpower, what would it be?

Olive: Honestly? Mine would probably be making a big deal out of everything…or noth—

Brander: That’s not true! She’s probably not going to mention it, knowing this is a book blog and everything, but I happen to know that she’s a fantastic writer. Like, really, really good—probably the next Jane Austen in the making.

Olive: *blushing* Aww thanks, Brander. But you’re probably going to be too humble to tell Carrie that you’re a superstar singer/songwriter. Carrie, he is so talented. He just signed a record deal, and his band’s debut album releases in the spring!

Brander: *also blushing* Yeah, it’s been pretty fun. *fidgets* I guess we aren’t very good at bragging on ourselves. Got any other questions?

Carrie: awww but y’all brag on each other and that’s the sweetest 🙂

Q: When you walk into a bookstore, where do you head first?

Olive: Classics! I could always stand to add to my Jane Austen collection.

Brander: I always love a good devotional, so I’d probably head to that section first. Otherwise, sorry to say, I’m more of a music store kind of guy myself.

Carrie: well… I guess we can forgive you of that & maybe Olive and her love of the classics will rub off on you eventually haha

Q: Why do you love Hawaii? What would you say are some not-so-touristy things to do & see for someone who wants to visit?

Brander: Hawaii is home—I’ve been an island guy my whole life, and I love it. The beaches are so beautiful and calming…sometimes I step out on them and feel like I walked into a painting done by the Lord Himself.

Olive: What he said. Also, the food here is a lot better than it was in Boston. And the weather. Definitely better weather.

Brander: *laughing* Yeah, we’ve got pretty much every other state beat when it comes to that. Of course, that’s why we have double the crowds. If you’re looking to get away from the touristy stuff, though, there’s plenty of stuff you can do.

Olive: *nods* When I first came to the island, my friend Jazz showed me around—there are plenty of hidden beaches that aren’t packed, and going out on the water is always fun. We got into paddle boarding my senior year of high school, and it’s a lot of fun.

Brander: So is just packing up a picnic and finding a quiet spot on the shore. And, of course, if you’re Olive, that always ends with a serious beachcombing session.

Olive: Guilty as charged! Beachcombing is the best—and you can’t beat free souvenirs! Another one of my favorite things to do is visit the goat cheese and lavender farms in the upcountry. The Ali’i Kula Lavender Farm is like a tiny taste of France in the middle of the Pacific…

Brander: …and we could go on. Really, there isn’t much not to love about this place!

Carrie: oh wow! I had no idea there were lavender farms & goat cheese farms in Hawaii – how cool!

Q: Olive & Brander – do you have a ‘song’ together? What is it & why is it special to you?

Olive: Brander actually wrote me a song for a wedding gift, and it’s my favorite. Brander, why don’t you play a little of it for Carrie?

Brander: *bites lip* Um, wouldn’t that be kind of spolier-y? Like, for people who haven’t read the book? Come to think of it, you’ve already given away a couple of pretty awesome plot twists already.

Olive: Oops, you’re right. Um…consider it foreshadowing?

Brander: Moving on—before Olive can regurgitate the rest of the book’s plot *winks*

Carrie: maybe we should take this up with Taylor 😉

Q: Olive, we first met you when you were sixteen and going through some really tough stuff. Now, you’re about to be a bride! How have you grown these last few years and what has Brander’s friendship meant to you?

Olive: I know! It’s pretty crazy. One thing’s for sure—I had no idea how much work God had to do on my heart…or how much He’s still doing. I guess it’s true that we’re always going to be a work in progress. But I do know that He’s given me so much peace since I first came here to Maui. Just like a piece of shattered, broken glass that gets buffeted by the waves and turned to sea glass, I haven’t had the easiest time dealing with all of this change, but God has always been there for me. He’s really turning my mess into a masterpiece.

And He used Brander to do it—since day…*counts on her fingers*…three of my time here in Maui. This guy has always been there for me, whether it’s to offer a prayer or encouraging verse or a hug. Or, preferably, all three. God definitely knew what He was doing when he saved this guy for me.

Carrie: aww i love that!

Q: Brander, how have you grown since you first met Olive, and how has her friendship changed you?

Brander: *blushing after Olive’s response* Olive’s heart has been the dearest, most precious thing I’ve ever been given. I have no idea why God thought I should be the lucky guy to take care of it, but I’m so blessed that He did. I’ve learned a lot since we started hanging out back in high school, but especially how to be a better man.

They say love changes people, and I’ve definitely seen that in both of us as the Lord has knit our hearts closer together. Olive reminds me every day how important it is to hold fast to our memories and use them to create beauty in the world around us—whether that’s through stringing necklaces and bracelets or writing stories. She inspires me.

Carrie: well now I’m crying!!

Q: I am a huge fan of romance! Can you give us the inside scoop on Brander’s proposal & Olive’s reaction? Any wedding details you can share? 😊

Brander: There are so many! So, to propose, I lead Olive on this candlelit path down the beach and—

Olive: *holding up a hand* Now who’s giving away spoilers? Let’s just say, it was the most magical night of my life. Except for the wedding, of course. Brander’s mom did such a great job putting together a—

Brander: Olive!

Olive: Oh, yeah. More spoilers. Sorry, Carrie. I think you’ll have to read about these details for yourself…

Carrie: Phooey! Can’t blame a gal for trying haha

Q: What do you want people to learn from your story?

Olive: I think I can speak for both of us when I say that I hope readers will be inspired to seek out God’s plan for their own lives. The Lord sent us on a crazy adventure when I landed on this island so many years ago, and it isn’t over yet—this new book is proof of that. If the people who read it realize that and learn how to better seek after God’s promises and plans for their own lives, then I think we’ll have done our job.

Brander: And maybe they can also learn how not to propose to their very best friend?

Olive: *laughing* Oh yeah, definitely that.

Make sure to like & comment on this post and enter my monthly giveaway for THREE books of your choice from my duplicates stash! After you’ve liked & commented, claim your entries HERE.

What about you? What makes you want to read Promise Me Aloha by Taylor Bennett?

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17 responses to “Character Interview: Olive & Brander from Promise Me Aloha by Taylor Bennett

  1. Perrianne Askew

    I’m not too much on YA fiction, but I will admit to reading Anne of Green Gables at the present time. I really love Hawaii and I feel that I can’t go wrong with this one.

  2. John Smith

    I haven’t heard the name “Brander” before, but “Brander Delacroix” is definitely a great name. And he’s so nice to Olive!

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