Shannon here: Regina Rudd Merrick shares insight into her characters’ romance from her latest novella, Pawleys Aisle, included in the Coastal Promises collection. Comment or answer the question in this post to enter the drawing for a copy, choice of signed paperback or ebook. Deadline: Sept 28th, 11:59 pm central time. Here’s Regina:
Character Interview – Chelsea Prince, from “Pawleys Aisle,” a novella in the Coastal Promises collection, published by Mantle Rock Publishing, releasing September 25, 2019:
Hi! I’m Chelsea Prince, and Shannon chose to interview ME instead of my author, Regina Rudd Merrick! She probably knows I’m a much more interesting character, and I actually live on the beach, as opposed to Regina, who just dreams about it! I can’t complain, though. She’s given me a great story, and I hope you like it! Anyway, here goes the interview! There’ll be a snippet of my story afterward!
- Are you open to your own romance?
Actually, no, I’m not. I quit my job as a bank executive and moved down to Pawleys Island and bought a wedding chapel for good reason. That reason had a name, and it’s name was Heartbreak with a capital “H!” Men are persona non grata to me at this point. Don’t get me wrong. I believe in romance, but for other people. You know the saying, “once burned, twice shy?” That’s me in a nutshell. I don’t if I can trust another man after what happened.
- What’s the number one quality you’d require in a mate?
Respect. That is, if I were going to have one, which at this point seems unlikely. My last relationship pointed out that respect for the one we profess to love is a major component in actually demonstrating that love. Respect knows that “no” means “no.”
- Where is the worst place you can think of to find a mate?
Apparently, at work. I know it’s worked well for many, but for me it was unhealthy. To be in a business where the person you love is your superior can only work if there is an ounce of humility in the superior.
- What type of character traits are you attracted to?
Flexibility. He has to be willing to look at both sides of a situation. Take my neighbor for instance. He’s decided, with no discussion whatsoever, that my business next door will ruin his chances of his writing his all-important novel. He just decided! Talk about inflexible!
- What type of features are you attracted to?
Hmmm . . . that’s a tricky question. I used to think I was attracted to dark-haired men, but lately I’ve started noticing more gingers. Maybe with facial hair? Tall and lean . . . wait a minute. Chelsea Prince, you’re describing that rascally neighbor of yours!! Swearing off men again, thank you very much . . .
Excerpt from Pawley’s Aisle by Regina Rudd Merrick:
“Oh, Ms. Bertie, why didn’t you tell your grandson what we were about?” I know raising my eyes to heaven and talking to a lady who’s dead and buried won’t get me anywhere, but if it makes me feel better, why not try it?
Honestly, the first time I met Marc McCallum, my first instinct was to try to draw him out of his shell. I mean, he’s a writer. I get it. He’s serious. I get that, too, I suppose. But shouldn’t using your imagination for a living be fun? The wedding-vendor in me, and comments from his beloved Granny Bert, notes that he is single and proud of it. If I hadn’t embraced singleness after my experience with Daniel Rogers, I might notice his good looks in that smart-guy, somewhat-athletic-but-nerdy sort of way, which I usually find attractive. . . But sworn off men I have, so that’s that.
Now what to say? I’m here, at the front door, letter in hand, and I’m speechless. And mad. “Okay, Lord, give me a little calm before I make a fool of myself.” As soon as I knock on the door, I hear frantic barking, and then a masculine voice shout, “Quiet, Muffin!”
I have to snicker. It’s one thing to hear an elderly woman calling her sixty-five pound Golden Retriever “Muffin,” but McCallum?
The door opens and Muffin pushes her way around her new master and sits in front of me, waiting for her hug. “Hey, girl! How’s it going?”
“Miss Prince.” He stands there, all six-foot-lean of him, shoulder hunched on the door frame with his arms crossed, as if I’m a bother he could do without. He looks down at Muffin and frowns a bit. I wonder if he’s jealous of the rapport between me and this big hunk of golden sweetness.
“Mr. McCallum. Do you have a moment? We need to talk.” Rattling the paper in his face is tempting, but I’m trying to use my big-girl manners.
The twitch of his lips shows me he has to think about it. Get over yourself, bro. He looks at his watch as if he’s in the middle of peace talks or something. Then he scratches nervously at his beard and comes to himself. “Come in. Would you care for something to drink?”
Surprise, surprise. He has big-boy manners. “Uh, sure. Water or tea is fine.”
“Good, because it’s all I’ve got.”
This place hasn’t been dusted in weeks. Ms. Bertie would be scandalized.
About Regina: Regina Rudd Merrick is a writer, church musician, wife, mother, former librarian, and grateful follower of Jesus Christ. Having lived most of her life in Western Kentucky, she dreams of the sound of crashing waves and sandy beaches. Married to her husband of 35-plus years, she is the mother of two grown daughters, and the keeper of a 100-year-old house where she lives in the small town of Marion, KY. She is the author of three books, Carolina Dream (Apr. 2017), Carolina Mercy (July 2018), Carolina Grace (February 2019) in the Southern Breeze Series, and coming Sept. 25 of this year, “Pawleys Aisle,” a Southern Breeze novella in the Coastal Promises collection, published by Mantle Rock Publishing, LLC. Connect with Regina on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or on her website at https://www.reginaruddmerrick.com .
About the novella – Pawleys Aisle: a Southern Breeze Story:
Leaving a lucrative position in the banking world for the creative world of weddings, Chelsea Prince finds the perfect venue, Pawleys Island Chapel, next door to the perfect walled garden. Her elderly neighbor and partner-in-planning have an agreement, but when the unexpected happens, she has to deal with the cranky grandson who wants to be left alone to write the next great American novel. Since Chelsea has sworn off men, it shouldn’t be a problem to ignore him and go on her way hosting weddings in the chapel. But when Marc McCallum offers up a compromise, she wonders if maybe there is one man out there that can be trusted.
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