Shannon here: Historical romance author interviews her heroine from Scars of Mercy. Comment on any post dated Sept 12 – 17th for a chance to win a copy. Deadline: Sept. 17th, 11:59 pm central time. Here’s Connie and Tillie:
INTERVIEW WITH TILLIE:
The heroine of SCARS OF MERCY, Miss Tillie O’Dell, is here with us today, and she has agreed to answer a few questions about her relationship with Everett Behr in the story.
Tell us about how you met Everett.
I first met Everett shortly after he came to Willow Creek. The church was having a picnic after services and Everett and I shared a wonderful afternoon together. He was handsome and dashing, and I must admit I was smitten. But a couple of weeks later, when I saw him in the hotel dining room where I work, he acted like he didn’t know me. He was so haughty and arrogant I thought for a moment I’d confused him with someone else. He wasn’t the same Everett with whom I’d spent a pleasant Sunday afternoon. I hurried back into the kitchen before anyone could see my tears. Then, a few weeks later, right before he was planning to leave, Miss Pearl’s boardinghouse caught fire and Everett ran into the house to rescue his father and Miss Pearl. He was badly burned.
Is there a place where your romance began?
One evening as I was leaving work, I saw Everett walking alone toward the creek where the willow trees hang down like lace curtains. I decided to join him. Since it was almost dark, he didn’t seem to mind my being near, because I couldn’t see his scars. We walked and talked along the creek bank. After that, we met at the creek at sunset a few times a week. He seemed so relaxed in the shadows, it was easy to talk and laugh.
What do the two of you talk about on these evening strolls?
Almost anything. I tell him stories about my younger brothers and sisters and the mischief they get into. One time he told me about the stray cat he adopted bringing him a dead mouse—except it wasn’t dead! Sometimes we discuss Pastor Witherspoon’s sermons, or count fireflies, and sometimes we take off our shoes and dangle our feet in the creek. (blushing) Oh my, I suppose I shouldn’t have told you that part. It was dark enough in the twilight and in the shadows of the willows that he couldn’t see my ankles, but my mama would still say it wasn’t ladylike.
Do the two of you have a favorite song?
(giggling) Sometimes when we’re sitting on the creek bank, we like to sing whatever hymns were sung at church that Sunday, and we improvise some harmony I’m quite certain would make the composers cringe. My favorite is Be Thou My Vision, but I think Everett likes Rock Of Ages.
What does Everett do (gesture) that melts your heart?
Hmm, I can’t really say it melts my heart, but sometimes it makes my heart ache. He turns away and he brings his hand up to cover the scars on his face. Sometimes when he does that, I want to grab his hand and yank it away from his face, and other times I just want to cry. I wish he didn’t feel like he has to hide from me. He got those scars performing an act of unselfish bravery and compassion. How could anyone think they are ugly?
Is Everett romantic?
In some ways, I suppose he is. He walked me all the way home one night. When we are at the creek, he is attentive and gentlemanly. One evening we tossed willow leaves into the water and imagined where they might end up as the current carried them away. Then, some time later, he suggested I accept the romantic attentions of another man. It made me angry at first until I understood why he did it.
How soon after meeting Everett did you know he was the one? T
hat’s not so easy to answer. When I first met him, I was attracted to him because he was handsome. Later, after he was scarred in the fire, I was able to see past the scars to his character—what made him do what he did, and that’s the man I fell in love with.
Who said, “I love you” first, you or Everett?
Oh my! (blushing again) I think I did. Everett didn’t tell me he loved me, he told my da.
Everett told your father he loved you before he told you? That must have been an interesting conversation.
About Connie: Connie Stevens lives in north Georgia with her husband of thirty-eight years, John, and one cantankerous kitty, misnamed Sweet Pea. When she isn’t writing, Connie enjoys reading, gardening, sewing, browsing antique shops, and collecting teddy bears. If she is turned loose in an historical museum, she will forget what time it is as well as what century it is. The Cancer Treatment Centers of America are dear to her heart and she makes quilts to send to their ministerial team for distribution to cancer patients. You can find Connie on Facebook or on her website at www.conniestevenswrites.com.
About the book: Everett Behr turns away from people to hide his disfiguring scars. A budding friendship with Tillie O’Dell eases his loneliness, but asking her to endure the humiliation of being with someone like him is out of the question. Tillie sees past Everett’s scars to his heart. His courage and compassion make him a man of character, but how can she convince Everett his scars are beautiful to her?
Come back Sept 16 when Connie speaks Everett to get his side of this unusual romance.