Shannon here: Myra Johnson shares a character interview from her latest historical romance, Whisper Goodbye plus a chance to win a copy. Choice of print or e-copy for U.S., e-copy for international. Comment on this post to enter the drawing. Deadline: April 26th, 11:59 pm central time. Here’s Myra:
Character interview: Mary McClarney, Whisper Goodbye
Mary McClarney, what’s the number one quality you’d require in a mate?
Oh, my, must I narrow it down to one? First and foremost, he’d need to have eyes only for me. Which is a huge problem, because the man I’ve fallen for, First Lieutenant Gilbert Ballard, hasn’t stopped pining for his childhood sweetheart, Annemarie Kendall. Except she’s now Annemarie Vickary since she recently married the kind and highly respected chaplain at the Hot Springs Army and Navy Hospital where I’m a nurse. You’d think Gilbert would get the message that he long ago lost the battle for Annemarie’s heart.
What type of character traits are you attracted to? Specifically, what attracted you to Gilbert?
I admire courage, loyalty, honesty, and devotion. But I won’t deny it was Gilbert’s handsome face that first caught my interest. He may be missing a leg after being wounded in the Great War, and he may be fighting the worst kind of depression and discouragement, but I see in him what he can’t see in himself. He’s made some tragic mistakes, but deep down, he’s a good man, an honorable man, and I know he can pull himself together if only he’ll try. I’ve been praying for that very thing.
What’s the one habit or lifestyle that would make you run the other way?
I don’t take kindly to drinking or gambling, that’s a fact. Sadly, my Gilbert struggles with both. He had a terrible time with morphine addiction after coming home wounded, but he’s tried hard to overcome it. Still, I worry he’s turning instead to other vices to ease his pain—and I’m not speaking only of the physical pain, but the ache in his heart over what might have been.
What would be a reason to end a potential romance for you?
You know, I’ve been thinking long and hard about this. Loving a man like Gilbert Ballard isn’t easy, and I’ve had to ask myself how long I’m willing to wait. If he can’t speak the words I need to hear—that he loves me beyond all else but the Lord and is ready to turn his back on those things that divide his mind and heart—then I fear there may be no hope for us.
Thank you for your honesty, Mary. Let’s hope Gilbert proves himself worthy of your love. To end this interview on a happier note, would you share the most romantic thing Gilbert has done for you?
Oh, that’s easy. Most every day when my nursing shift ends, I find him waiting for me on the hospital lawn. We have a special meeting place under an old oak tree, and it lifts my heart to come down the front steps and find Gilbert waiting there. Such a small gesture, but it shows he does care for me, even if he can’t yet say the words aloud. I do keep hope alive, you see, and I believe with all my heart that if Gilbert is the right man for me, God will work everything out in His own perfect time.
About Myra: Award-winning author Myra Johnson writes emotionally gripping stories about love, life, and faith. She is a two-time American Christian Fiction Writers Carol Award finalist and winner of the Romance Writers of America 2005 Golden Heart for Best Inspirational Romance Manuscript. Married since 1972, Myra and her husband are the proud parents of two beautiful daughters, and are also grandparents of four rambunctious grandsons and three precious granddaughters. Although Myra is a native Texan, she and her husband now reside in North Carolina and share their home with a couple of pampered pooches. Myra writes full-time and currently serves as president of ACFW-Charlotte Chapter. Visit Myra’s website at www.MyraJohnson.com. She can also be found in Seekerville (www.seekerville.blogspot.com) and on Facebook (www.facebook.com/MyraJohnsonAuthor). Myra Tweets as @MyraJohnson and @TheGrammarQueen.
About Whisper Goodbye: Crippled both physically and emotionally by his war injuries, First Lt. Gilbert Ballard struggles to find himself again in civilian life. After breaking his engagement to Annemarie Kendall, he has found solace in the arms of Mary McClarney, a spunky Irish immigrant nurse he met at the Army and Navy Hospital in Hot Springs, Arkansas. Yet Mary’s love for Gilbert goes unreturned.
If it’s not Gilbert’s insane jealousy over his former fiancée’s new marriage, it’s his addiction to pain killers and gambling that thwarts Gil’s own happiness. Worse, Gilbert’s mother, Evelyn, continually reminds him of what he lost when he pushed Annemarie away. Under Evelyn’s critical eye, Mary fights to believe in her worth, wondering if she will ever be enough.
As Mary longs for the day when Gilbert will finally let go of the past and learn to love her as she loves him, she realizes that the only way to open Gilbert’s heart is to whisper her goodbyes . . . and pray God will bring them back together.
Come back April 16th for Katy Lee!