This week I’m hosting Kathi Macias with The Moses Quilt, Gail Gaymer Martin with Her Valentine Hero, Anita Higman with Texas Wildflowers, and Kelly Irvin with Love’s Journey Home. If you want to enter the drawings for the books, please leave a comment on one of the post during the week with your email address. I will not enter you without an email address (my way to contact you if you win). If you don’t want to leave an email address, another way you can enter is to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. The drawings end Sunday (Feb. 3rd) evening.
Interview with Neely Andrews, heroine of Her Valentine Hero by Gail Gaymer Martin:
1 Neely, tell me the most interesting thing about you.
It’s sort of interesting to me, but maybe not to you. I was born and raised in Ferndale, Michigan, but as soon as I could I moved away, first to college and then to a teaching job in Chicago. I loved the big city, and home wasn’t the most pleasant place to be. I’m proud of my independence and decisiveness.
2. What do you do for fun?
Believe it or not, keeping fit and healthy is fun for me. I want to be the best person I can be. I also enjoyed the children I taught and had fun teaching until I was pink slipped.
3. What do you put off doing because you dread it?
For years I put off going home to visit because of my relationship with my mother. She wasn’t a warm person, and I didn’t enjoy being criticized, but after she died and Dad became ill, I returned to spend time with him as well as my widowed sister and her little three year old son. He never knew his daddy who’d been killed in Afghanistan. Though I dreaded leaving my friends in Chicago, the layoff motivated me to rethink my life, and I returned home. I’m glad I did now.
4. What are you afraid of most in life?
I made a big mistake as a teenager and fell prey to a boyfriend who wanted more than kisses. I never felt wanted for much of anything, and I craved the attention. Once giving in to him, I found it difficult to say no. I felt used after that. My lack of control scared me, and I resolved never to trust any man. I’ve never told anyone about this—not even my sister, and I fear people I know will be shocked and think less of me.
5. What do you want out of life?
I’d like to feel fulfilled. To be honest, I’ve worked hard to overcome my mother’s critical ways. I never felt worthy, and the more my self-esteem plunged, the more I disliked myself. Living away and being a good teacher, I realized I did have worth, but those seeds of doubt sometimes sneaked back. I long to be confident in my self-worth and my worthiness to others.
6. What is the most important thing to you?
After living away the past fourteen years, I realize now that family is the most important thing in my life and solid friendships. My old BFF, Raine, is still a treasure. She’s asked me to be her Maid of Honor at her wedding. I’m even trying to forget the pesky side of her kid brother and view him now for the great guy he’s turned out to be. We’ve formed an interesting friendship. That surprises me, but I enjoy it.
7. Do you read? If so, what is your favorite type of book to read?
In Chicago I read a lot, mainly best sellers and some suspense novels written by authors I enjoy. I steered clear of romance novels since they stirred my regret for what I was missing by avoiding serious romantic relationships. I still didn’t know if I could trust myself. Since I’ve been home, I haven’t had time to read a thing.
8. If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?
If I could change one thing, I would remove the guilt I feel about my relationship with my mother and with my old boyfriend Erik.
9. Do you have a pet? If so, what is it and why that pet?
A Chicago apartment wasn’t conducive to having a pet, and when I lived home, Mother would have found more ways to criticize my sister and I if we’d had one. I don’t dislike animals though, and one day, I might enjoy a small fluffy dog.
10. If you could travel back in time, where would you go and why?
If I could travel back in time, I would like to live in the years my mother was young so I could see what caused her to be so cold and critical. If I understood, maybe I could be more forgiving. I’d like that, and my faith would be stronger too.