Sunday, April 8, 2018

Let Love Bloom: Loving Grace

Interview with Grace, character in April Smith’s book “Loving Grace”:

Alexis: Hi, Grace! Thanks for agreeing to an interview. This story opens with a conflict and you have to make a quick decision about a certain title. Why didn’t you want to be the Watermelon Queen?

Grace: It’s not so much that I didn’t want to be the watermelon queen, but that everything happened so quickly. I didn’t have much time to process everything, and I still had a lot going on in my head about the accident.

Alexis: What is the Watermelon Queen tradition all about and what is the queen required to do? 

Grace: As far as traditions go, it’s something the association created to have a spokesperson for them. There’s been a watermelon queen for as long as I can remember. Her main job is to promote the watermelon industry—but I’m telling you guys, it’s so much fun… seeing new places, trying new foods, meeting interesting people…

Alexis: Who is Beau Baron and what role does he play in your life story? Describe his looks, personality and your history with him.

Grace: Our history…so much to say, so little time. Let’s put it like this: we grew up together. He’s been around for as long as I can remember. He and my twin, Luke were best friends—inseparable actually.

Alexis: Now on to his personality. It depends on the day really…let’s just say we’re like oil and vinegar—we usually don’t mix well together.

Grace: Okay, I’m going to tell it to you straight, but if I find out you told Beau, I’ll deny ever saying a word of it. I mean it…I’ll deny it with my last breath…He’s tall, like over six feet tall, and when he’s not being annoying, which let me tell you isn’t often, his smile is like, wow!

And—uggh…I can’t believe I’m going to say it—he is good looking. Dark brown hair and chocolate brown eyes. Need I say more?

Alexis: Why does Beau make your blood boil but also occupy your mind?

Grace: Probably because he knows which buttons to push to drive me crazy. 

Alexis: Who is Warren Hartley? Why do you think he’s so dreamy? How does his presence affect your story?

Grace: He’s every girl’s dream. He’s the knight in shining armor type. What girl doesn’t want to feel like and be treated like a princess? He just always seems to know what to say and do. 

Alexis: What can you tell us about the accident that “rocked your world”? How did it change you? Do you think that change was for the better or worse? Why?

Grace: It didn’t change me, it shattered me. I lost what was most important to me that day. To say it was for the better or worse…I don’t know. I know I’m stronger now and working to understand it, but healing takes time, and the only way I’ve been able to make sense of it, is to give it all to God; so, placing it at his feet, has allowed me to move forward. Some days are easier than others, but I’m getting there.

Alexis: When did you first see sparks fly between you and Beau? What did you do about it?

Grace: We were five, and he came over for a playdate at our house. Beau and Luke didn’t want to include me in their game. Up until then, I’d never really had to share Luke with anyone, and they had never tried to leave me out before…let’s just say it was the first time, I realized that I didn’t do well with sharing my brother’s attention. I kicked Beau in the shin. I got a timeout. He got a bruise and to play with my brother while I had to sit in my room. So unfair (insert frustrated sigh here). Okay, I know I was in the wrong, but still, that’s the first time the sparks flew…

Alexis: What is it about Beau that warms your heart? Why is he special to you?

Grace: In some ways, he’s still a connection to my brother. They were always together, and after our first initial battle (you know the one where I kicked him in the shin) we eventually all three became a close trio. It was only after the accident, that things for Beau and I fell apart.

Alexis: What would you say was the turning point in your relationship with Beau?

Grace: I don’t know that we’ve had a turning point. Beau and I have been through a lot. Some of it has been good, some…not so good…but that’s life. It can be complicated. I think it’s a gradual process with me and probably for him too.

Alexis: How does your faith in God impact the way you live and make decisions?

Grace: I’m a firm believer that we’re here for a purpose, and I want to glorify God, by being what He calls me to be. I want all that I say and do to be pleasing to Him.

Alexis: What did you like—and not like—about being the Watermelon Queen?

Grace: I missed Gramps from time to time. Also, living out of a suitcase means a lot of laundry. Those are minor things compared to all of the travel and fun experiences that being the watermelon queen brought into my life. And honestly, it was at a time when I needed some fun and to be forced out of the rut I had landed in.

Alexis: What do you want readers to remember most about your story? 

Grace: Life can be messy, but we can trust God in the process.

Alexis: What advice do you have for the next Watermelon Queen?

Grace: Be yourself. Have fun and enjoy your year! It goes faster than you’d ever believe. 

Alexis: Thanks for the interview, Grace! Do you have any closing thoughts?

Grace: Just, thank you! And I really enjoyed our chat.

Author Bio:

April Smith grew up spending summers working on her best friend’s family watermelon farm and she was one of those watermelon queens she writes about. She has her undergraduate degree in Elementary Education and a Master’s Degree in the Art of Teaching.

Blurb for April's book Loving Grace: 

Grace Summer lands herself in a melon load of trouble when she becomes torn between the boy of her dreams and the boy almost next door. As the newly-crowned Watermelon Queen, she is thrust into the spotlight, meets the dreamy Warren Hartley, and continues trying to get over an accident that rocked her world. Mix in working with Beau Baron who Grace happens to fight with just about as much as breathing and the metaphorical sparks fly. 

Like most things in life, Grace must learn to take the good with the bad. While the good is the handsome and fun Warren Hartley, the bad is Beau Baron—or at least being around his annoying and rude self way more than she would like. For Beau, Grace is nothing more than aggravating and an irritating reminder from the night of the accident. Tensions soar as Grace and Beau fight to love themselves and maybe, just maybe, each other.

Connect with April:
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  1. Hi Alexis and April,
    I enjoyed your interview. I tried to go to the give away but it didn't let me type an answer to the first question so I couldn't get any farther. I'll answer it here. YES I love watermelon but I'm allergic to it. Sad but true.

    1. Hi, Nina! I am happy that you enjoyed the interview! :)

      Thanks for leaving a comment.

      I'm sorry to hear that you were not able to enter the book giveaway contest on the Rafflecopter widget. Please leave another comment on this blog post with your e-mail address so that I can count you in the book giveaway.

  2. Hi Ladies! I'm not a huge fan of watermelon itself, but I love the juice in other things such as smoothies or lemonade. I have no idea why I don't like the fruit, but love the juice.


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