Connie Stevens – Romantic Character Interview – Part 1 of 1

Shannon here: Connie Stevens shares insight into her characters’ romance from her latest historical romance novella, A Shadow in the Daytime which is included in the collection, A Place of Refuge. Comment or answer the question at the end of the post to enter the drawing for a copy. Deadline: April 4th, 11:59 pm central time. Here’s Connie:

Connie StevensConnie Stevens cover

A little bit about the book:
A PLACE OF REFUGE is a collection of seven romantic novellas. All seven stories are set in a cabin in the mountains of Wyoming, near the tiny town of Sawyer’s Gap. Over the decades, the characters of each story come to the cabin seeking sanctuary from the circumstances of their lives. My novella, A SHADOW IN THE DAYTIME, set in 1919 after the Great War.

A little bit about my characters:
My hero, Aaron Forester, was in the ministry, left his church for a time when the war in Europe broke out, and enlisted in the Army chaplain corps. He intended to return to his church after the war, but because of an unspeakable battlefield experience, he believes God can no longer use him. Upon his discharge from the Army, he drifts from one construction job to the next, never putting down roots, never dropping his guard, and running from God as fast as he can.

Lainey Trapnell Garrett is the heroine whose goal was to get her degree in business management, and then come home to help her parents expand the family business. But while she was away at college, a whirlwind romance resulted in a wedding two days before her newlywed husband joined the Army and shipped out. Instead of returning to classes while he was fighting in the war, Lainey went home, only to be the recipient of one of those dreaded telegrams from the war department. As a young war widow, she concentrates her energies on working at her family’s sawmill, and sorting out her jumbled emotions between her late husband and the mysterious stranger staying in the cabin up the mountain.

  • Where is the most romantic place your hero and heroine have ever been?

There is a “secret” place Lainey has gone ever since she was a little girl. It’s hidden among the rocks and sweeping evergreens, and a creek flows nearby and creates a small waterfall. It’s a very secluded place where Lainey goes to be alone. When she shares this spot with Aaron, he knows the place is special to her and he feels honored that she would take him there.

  • When your characters meet, how long before they are drawn romantically to each other?

It wasn’t exactly love at first sight for Lainey and Aaron. Neither was looking for romance. Lainey’s husband had been killed in the war, and her emotions were still bruised. Aaron wrestled with guilt and considered himself unworthy of anyone’s love, even God’s.

It isn’t until Lainey sees Aaron—through his compassionate ministering—for the man he is that she allows her heart to be receptive.

God nudges Aaron to realize the healing of his spirit isn’t the only reason God brought him to this place of refuge in the Wyoming mountains. When Aaron listens to God and opens his heart to God’s leading, thoughts of a life with Lainey tug at him. So it is a gradual attraction. But just when they both realize their feelings for each other, Lainey discovers something that might end the romance even before it has a chance to get started.

  • Who is most romantic, your hero or your heroine?

Probably Lainey. Even after she recognizes her feelings for Aaron, she wonders if she is ready for another romance. But she must first deal with her undefined emotions surrounding her extremely brief marriage and the death of her soldier-husband. Once she sorts through her confusing feelings, she sees Aaron as a “knight in shining armor.”

  • Who said, “I love you” first, your hero or your heroine?

Aaron acknowledges his feelings to God first, but hesitates to speak of them to Lainey because he is struggling with a difficult decision. Lainey realizes that in all her prayers, she never asked God to not let her fall in love with Aaron, and now it’s too late.

Aaron is finally the one who first speaks the words aloud, but not exactly in the most conventional way.

  • Since this story is historical (set in 1919), if we met the hero and heroine today, what would you like about them?

Lainey is dedicated to her family. Not only does she endeavor to make her parents’ business a success, she has a very tender heart for her uncle who was injured in a sawmill accident. She cares for his needs, but also discerns how lonely and discouraged he is, and she devotes time to him.

While Aaron’s spirit is crushed because he thinks he has let God down, he unconsciously allows himself to be used as God’s vessel to minister to others. Demonstrating compassion is second nature to him.

About Connie: Connie Stevens lives with her husband of forty-plus years in north Georgia, within sight of her beloved mountains. She and her husband are both active in a variety of ministries at their church. A lifelong reader, Connie began creating stories by the time she was ten. Her office manager and writing muse is a cat, but she’s never more than a phone call or email away from her critique partners. She enjoys gardening and quilting, but one of her favorite pastimes is browsing antique shops where story ideas often take root in her imagination. Connie has been a member of American Christian Fiction Writers since 2000.

Visit Connie’s website at www.conniestevenswrites.com Check out her Facebook author page at https://www.facebook.com/ConnieStevensAuthor and follow her on Twitter: @AuthorConnie.
A PLACE OF REFUGE is published through Wings of Hope Publishing Group. Check out their Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Wings-of-Hope-Publishing/736777363007911

About the novella – A Shadow in the Daytime: Battlefield memories cast shadows of guilt on an army chaplain determined to run from God. A young woman whose heart aches from her own losses discovers an unlikely secret, and the connection has the power to either heal or destroy.

Purchase Link for the collection – A PLACE OF REFUGE: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00U89TH2A

Question: Have you ever been to the mountains? If so which are your favorite?

Come back March 25th for book recommendations!

17 Responses to “Connie Stevens – Romantic Character Interview – Part 1 of 1”

  • Kandy Heal says:

    Thank you for making great christian fiction available!

  • Shelia Hall says:

    I LOVE THE SMOKIES!!!!

  • Doris Reedy says:

    I would love to win a copy! It sounds like a good book.

  • Janice Gaw says:

    Smoky Mountains, Grand Tetons

  • Jackie McNutt says:

    I have been to Smokey Mountains ! Love that area

  • Joan Kurth says:

    I don’t think I have read a story about the Smokey Mountains. It sounds intriguing !

  • Melanie Backus says:

    I love the San Juan mountain range in southern Colorado.

    melback at cebridge dot net

  • Janet Estridge says:

    I have been to the Smoky Mountains but the mountain ranges in Alaska are the ones I want to go back to.

  • Patty says:

    Thanks for sharing a bit about your characters Connie!

  • Patty says:

    I realized I didn’t answer the question in my comment above. I live in the upstate of SC and this area is considered the foothills of the mountains. Within an hours drive you can truly be in the mountains.

  • Melissa B. says:

    We went to the Smoky Mountains several years ago. They were beautiful.
    melissa(dot)snoopy(at)yahoo(dot)com

  • Susieq says:

    I thought I knew what mountains were from where I live……. but until I saw the majestic Rockies in Colorado…..Now those are MOUNTAINS……it showed how great and grand our God is by His creation…(I haven’t seen the Grand Canyon yet, but I think they come in a close 2nd to the Rockies).

  • Hello Connie. I like that setting is in Wyoming. I lived there in Jackson Hole and will always love the Teton Mountains. Beautiful and even more so when you stand by Jackson Lake and see them reflected in the lake. I would love to win this book. Thanks for the chance. Thanks Shannon for hosting Connie. Maxie > mac262(at)me(dot)com <

  • Thank you all for your comments. Yes, Maxie, the setting is in Wyoming, near the South Pass. I, too, love the Smokies and the Blue Ridge Mountains, and the Canadian Rockies are breath-taking as well. In fact, given the choice, I would vacation in the mountains every time!
    I hope all my readers enjoy the book as much as we enjoyed writing it.

  • Britney Adams says:

    I love the mountains and have visited several beautiful ranges. I enjoyed this post and would love to read this novella collection.

    texaggs2000 at gmail dot com

  • I live at the foot of the Ozark mountains in Arkansas. I’ve been to Denver once for a writers conference. Saw the mountains, but never made it out of the hotel.

  • I have a winner! Doris Reedy won the drawing. I appreciate Connie for being my guest and everyone else for stopping by.

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