Shannon here: Historical romance author, Justina Prima shares insight into her real life romance, her character’s romance, & a recipe for romance. Comment on this post to enter the drawing for a copy of her debut novel, The Pawnbroker’s Ring. Deadline: Dec 7th, 11:59 pm central time. Here’s Justina:
- How did you meet your spouse?
The very best way to meet someone—at a church service. It was during the week and so the church was pretty empty, even for a feast day. My husband was there. We spoke after the service was over and after church every Sunday. As my mom always said, you need to be friends first, because that is what outlasts anything else as we age!
- Who is most romantic, you or your spouse?
Definitely my husband. I harbor it all inside and he is the one that puts it all on display. Still opens doors and makes other men look bad in the parking lot!
- What is the most caring thing your spouse has ever done for you?
He brings flowers just because it’s a Tuesday. Or just because the day is cloudy and he needs to brighten my day.
- Where did you and your spouse go for your honeymoon?
We were married on Super Bowl Sunday here in Denver. The Broncos were winning and people at the reception were milling back and forth to watch the game. We went to Evergreen to a cabin on a creek for a week. When we arrived—you guessed it—my husband turned on the TV to watch the Broncos win! That was okay, though, because I was so sick from having the flu the whole week before.
- Where do you write?
I think I can write anywhere. When I wrote my first novel, I was in an itty bitty trailer in the middle of a cow pasture next to a roaring river. Nearest neighbor was ten miles away. I had a Brother typewriter, which was the first of the rages to store on a disc. Now I write on a card table, but it’s a very pretty one. The top is cross-stitched and belonged to my mother-in-law. It shakes a little, but when I’m on a roll, it doesn’t phase me.
Pandora has to be on with nature music. So peaceful. And a big ‘do not disturb’ sign hanging on the door!
- What simple gesture does your hero do that melts your heroine every time?
Eldon’s face brightens when he sees Adela. It touches her heart, but she still doesn’t recognize it as love.
- What simple gesture does your heroine do that melts your hero every time?
Just being Adela, whether irate or soft, his heart melts. How could any woman possibly not know a man loves her when he displays such affection? She is absolutely clueless. It frustrated me!
- Who is most romantic, your hero or your heroine?
Well, now that I write all of this out, I can see that Adela shares my ignorance and Eldon has entrapped my husband!
- What inspired you to write this book?
It’s the proverbial ‘boy next door’ story, only involving adults and their complicated emotions. It’s all so simple when you are young and in love, but get older and all of the excess baggage of hurts and disappointments color your world. Adela had been virtually abandoned by her husband in the War of 1812 while carrying their child. Eighteen years later the pawnbroker, Eldon, continues to wait for her to notice his ongoing love for her. The ring washes ashore at her feet on her daily outing to Collins Cove. Because she looks for sails of a schooner, perhaps from the ship bringing her husband home, she is oblivious to its shimmer. The ring is found and sold to the pawnbroker, and passes from hand to hand in the promise of undying love.
I dreamt the first scene. It awakened me in the middle of the night. The image forced its way through the shadows and made quite an impression on me. The cover of the book is exactly what I saw, though a little brighter. Jumping out of bed, grabbing a notepad and pen, I made barely discernible scribbles of the idea. The next morning I called my sister, (my best friend and to whom the book is dedicated), and she said, “Get on it!”
- How did your hero and heroine meet?
How do your hero and heroine meet?
Here’s an excerpt from The Pawnbroker’s Ring by Justina Prima:
“This gem had yet to find the hand for which it was meant. He could not help but think of Adela, but oftentimes she reminded him they were the best of friends and their relationship would not move beyond it.
His mind slipped back to the past and the times shared at Collins Cove. He felt himself smile as he saw her snatching off her day cap and waving it overhead, allowing her long hair to blow free as she skipped barefoot in the retreating tide. With fondness, he could easily recall picnics in the park, lying on the grass, reading poetry, and sharing dreams. They were as inseparable then as Mendel and Kesiah are now.
He could not recall the exact moment his love for Adela began.
From earliest memories, Eldon held pure devotion for her. Then Joseph Seward entered her life.
And last but not least – a recipe for romance: We love to have fruit with our meat and use chutneys. Aunt Zilla loves the sauces with the meals she shows up for, mostly uninvited! Every summer I wait for the Georgia and Carolina peaches at the vegetable stands. Then I can all the peach chutney I possibly can. You will love this, especially with chicken dishes.
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon finely chopped garlic
2 shallots finely diced
1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and diced
1 1/2 pounds fresh peaches, blanched and diced
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup brandy
1/2 cup cider vinegar
Salt and pepper
Melt butter, add garlic, shallot and jalapeno and sweat for 1 to 2 minutes, add diced peaches. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes, add sugar, deglaze with brandy and vinegar and allow to cook on low heat until peaches are soft. Season with salt and pepper.
Read more at: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/follow-that-food/peach-chutney-recipe/index.html?oc=linkback
Carmelized onion and tomato:
2 cups julienned Spanish onions
2T canola oil
3C diced red tomato
1T brown sugar
½ C chopped basil
1T balsamic vinegar
Salt and Pepper
In medium sauté pan over medium-high heat, cook the onion in the canola oil for 8 to 10 minutes or until caramelized and golden-brown. Add the tomato and brown sugar and then reduce the heat to medium. Continue to cook, stirring occasionally, for 20-25 minutes or until most of the liquid has been cooked out. Remove from the heat, add the basil and balsamic vinegar, and season to taste with salt and pepper.
About Justina: Justina Prima lives with her husband in Colorado, a full-time hospice nurse and writes as much as possible the rest of the hours of the week. She has a son and daughter in Chicago and three young grandchildren. This is her first published novel, now working on the second;‘Tunnels’ due out next year. Connect with her:
About the book – The Pawnbroker’s Ring: A ring washes onto Salem‘s shore in the year 1830, a bottle its boat, a note its blanket. Zachariah has found it and watches as the ring takes part in many lives. He is also keeping a secret. Someone has stolen the ring and only he knows who it is.
Come back Nov 29th for Mary Hamilton!