In August 2021, I was approached by an old friend, who is on the board for an amazing charity called MPower Alliance based in California. Because of COVID, MPower Alliance have struggled to find donations, so they are thinking creatively. 

Let me tell you a bit about MPower Alliance first...

MPower Alliance is a non-profit organization dedicated to supporting birthmothers after they place a child for adoption. The birthmothers we work with are primarily in California, USA, but our reach is across 39 states and four countries. 

Birthmothers choose to place for a variety of reasons, none of them easy decisions. At MPower Alliance, they provide community where birthmothers can discuss their experiences with others who can understand and empathize. They also provide opportunities for grief counselling and financial assistance. To learn more, visit https://www.mpoweralliance.org/.

 

So, where am I going with this?

In ’Camino Wandering’, I include a secondary character, Hannah, who reminds the three main characters of who they used to be and the decisions they have made. This young woman is eighteen years old, taking a gap year before she heads to college and yet she faces a life-altering decision when she discovers she’s unexpectedly pregnant to her high school boyfriend. It’s not until we read the epilogue, an upcoming short story called ‘Camino Wandered’, do we find out the path she ultimately takes. 

My friend read Camino Wandering and, going back to that creative thinking, asked if I would be willing to auction off a character name in my next book for the charity she's involved in. 

My answer? Yes, Yes and Hell Yes! Especially after hearing more about the charity and all they do.

But I decided I'd do a little better than that. I've offered to auction off two character names!

In October 2021, I will be start a new series in which ’Camino Wandering’ will be the first book in that series. These characters will be included in this next book, key to the storyline, but they are not main characters. I can't write the story without them though.

 

 

How to get Involved:

Do you want to bid on the names of these two characters? You can choose either a female or male character - or both!

MPower Alliance’s annual gala is October 3, 2021, 5:00-6:30pm Pacific Time.

MPower Alliance will have an auction as part of their gala.

From their website: 

This year, we are extremely excited to offer the opportunity to name two characters in Tara Marlow’s Camino series. “Camino Wandering” is the first in that series and these named characters will be integral to the next book. You will be credited with the name in the book's acknowledgements (along with MPower Alliance) stating the auction's involvement. This is a rare gem of an auction item and we invite you to purchase a ticket, join us, and bid on this unique item (female and male character option).

You can purchase tickets at here.


Who are these characters you will be naming?

 

The auctioned-off female character will be:

  • A seventeen year old Australian girl in her final year of high school. 

  • She is named after her father’s grandmother. 

  • She will be in a semi-serious romance with an Irish lad, who is in Australia on a working holiday authorisation. 

  • Once she finishes high school, she will travel with this Irish lad, much to her mother’s dismay. (Her mother is a single mother, after her husband, and father of this unnamed character, died four years prior. Her mother is a bit of a laid back, ‘hippy’ kind of Mum. Her Mum's name is Sam.) 

  • This young woman is strong yet stubborn, and thinks she knows everything (as all 17 year olds seem to do). 

  • She has shoulder-length, brown curly hair, with hints of red through it, that she wears up in a ponytail much of the time. 

  • She wears minimal makeup -  just a little eyeliner and gloss. Her lashes are thick and she has to use an eyelash curler, otherwise her eyelashes stick straight out.

  • She has incredible skin, thanks to her father’s good genes. 

  • Her eye colour is whiskey brown.

  • She is about 5’7 inches and lanky. She’s a little clumsy because of it.  

  • She has long, skinny legs and knobbly knees. Her right knee has a long scar across it, due to a piece of glass she fell on when she was ten, when she was swimming in the local bay. 

  • She loves to paint her nails, but her nails are always chipped. 

  • She works part-time in the local café and helps her mother out cleaning local houses. 

  • She likes to swear, not unlike typical teens, but not around the elderly neighbour, whom she adores. 

  • She inherited her father’s olive skin. 

 
The auctioned-off male character will be:

  • A thirty eight year old Australian man, living in Tasmania. 

  • He was a commercial fisherman, who died four years ago in an accidental workplace accident. 

  • He was the breadwinner in the family. 

  • He was a dreamer rather than a planner. 

  • He enjoyed playing rugby with the local team and was always the one to show up early for the game. 

  • He was always offering to help a neighbour out, should they need it. He was very much part of the small community.

  • He was a member of the local State Emergency Services (which is a volunteer based organisation that responds to natural disasters in their local area).

  • He adored his daughter. He taught her to fish and encouraged her to dream. 

  • He had a good relationship with his wife (Sam) but there was tension leading up to the accident. (She was feeling resentful for him not supporting her career dreams.)

  • He’d been married to his wife (the main character), Sam, for ten years but they had been together for nineteen.  

  • He met Sam when he was 19 and he was hooked (as it were) right away.

  • He was 5’10, solidly built. Fit and weirdly limber. 

  • He had olive skin and was darkly tanned from being outside so much. If he hadn’t died of an accidental fishing accident, he would have within twenty years of melanoma. 

  • He had short brown hair, close cut. His hair was parted on the right and stuck up in a cowlick if he didn’t manage it with product (which he never did because he was always wearing a hat of some kind -  usually a skull cap since he was out on the water so much). 

  • His eyes were whisky brown and his eyelashes were thick. He had a small mole just on the outside edge of his left eye. 

  • He had laugh lines around full lips but always seemed to have stubble.  

  • He had four tattoos -  a Tasmanian devil (not the cartoon, but the animal) on his left forearm. His wife’s first initial on the inside of his wedding ring finger (since he could never wear a ring to work). His daughter’s name and birthdate on his chest. And a large compass on his right shoulder.  

  • He was up at 4am and often fell asleep on the couch by 8pm. 

 

Ready to name the character(s)?

Power Alliance’s annual gala is October 3, 2021, 5:00-6:30pm Pacific Time. 
(Convert to your time zone here)

You can purchase tickets at here.

Good luck! I can't WAIT to learn their names!