Need a great book recommendation? Then keep reading this super-fun post.
Today I have the distinct pleasure of a very special interview with Rosa Garner, Mexican immigrant, sheep wrangler, seamstress extraordinaire, musician, and woman with a heart for God. Rosa isn’t afraid to take a leap of faith, even if that means crossing borders into Reconstruction Era Texas after facing loss and hardship, and conquering her own fears to follow God’s prompting.
Rosa’s character is so beautiful that I just had to know more about her. With a little help from author Regina Jennings, Rosa was willing to answer a few questions for me.
Me: First off, your English is wonderful, Rosa. Since you grew up in a small village in Mexico, how did you first learn to speak it?
Rosa: When the Garner family came to our village, my parents sent me to welcome them and help them learn our ways. I learned quickly from working with Louise every day, but if I pretended I couldn’t understand, they spoke more freely. In this I knew that their God was different than the ones I’d been taught. Even when they thought no one was listening, their words were still filled with kindness.
Me: What did you find most curious about the Americanos?
Rosa: I had heard about the norte-americanos, but had no idea they were so different from us until Mack rode into my village on that burro. That summer I watched as his skin turned red, flaked off like a snake’s, and then turned brown. I wondered if my own skin would have been as white as his if I’d stayed in the shade. I guess I’ll never know.
Me: I know too well about the curse of fair skin in the sun. Let me ask you a question now that I think will reveal a lot about you to the readers. What is your favorite scripture?
Rosa: Zephaniah 3:17 –“The Lord your God in your midst, The Mighty One, will save; He will rejoice over you with gladness, He will quiet you with His love, He will rejoice over you with singing.” Sometimes when I’m worried I go where it is quiet and I listen for God’s singing. He isn’t afraid for me. He isn’t worried. He is rejoicing and I listen until I can rejoice with Him.
Me: I’m not surprised that a verse that mentions God’s music is your favorite, since you are a musician yourself. How did you learn to play the flute?
Rosa: Mi abuela (my mother’s mother) taught me. She always called me her little bird and taught me how to mimic their music. I used to hide and make bird sounds until the iguanas came looking for me. Then my brother would club one and we’d eat it for dinner. Delicioso!
Me: Iguana sounds like it might be an acquired taste. Do you have a favorite food from your native Mexico that is not considered by some Americanos to be a house-pet?
Rosa: Tamales with warm drink made of corn meal called atole.
Me: Now that you’ve come to America, if you have the opportunity to further your education, what would you most like to study?
Rosa: Me? I don’t read English well and I want to. Even children are better than me, so I don’t read in front of people. I’m afraid they would laugh at me.
Me: You came to Texas with your mother-in-law, both of you facing terrible loss and an even more hardship in your future. What quality do you most admire in your mother-in-law?
Rosa: Louise is never afraid of tomorrow. She trusts God. Me, I fear too much. It is hard for me to rest.
Me: I think readers will be surprised at how much bravery you do have, Rosa. Now, just for fun, let’s as one last easy question. What one quality do you find most attractive in a man?
Rosa: A man should be honest. How could one be attracted to what is false? I look first at his character and then at his broad shoulders.
Here’s a little taste of Rosa’s journey:
She’s Finally Found a Place to Call Home… How Far Will She Go to Save It?
With nothing to their names, young widow Rosa Garner and her mother-in-law return to their Texas family ranch. Only now the county is demanding back taxes and the women have just three months to pay.
Though facing eviction, Rosa falls in love with the countryside and the wonderful extended family who want only her best. They welcome her vivacious spirit and try to help her navigate puzzling American customs. She can’t help but stand out, though, and her beauty captures attention. Where some offer help with dangerous strings attached, only one man seems honorable. But when Weston Garner, still grieving his own lost love, is unprepared to give his heart, Rosa must decide to what lengths she will go to save her future.
Here are some reasons you should read this book:
– You love history.
– You love romance.
– You love a story that is uplifting and gives glory to the only One who deserves it.
– You love a combination of the three things mentioned above.
– You enjoy a strong female character.
– You like to be transported into a story that captivates.
– Because Regina Jennings is honestly one of the nicest, kindest women I’ve ever met, and her genuineness, sense of humor, and beauty shine in her debut novel.
– Because Sixty Acres and a Bride has one of the most gorgeous covers of any novel I’ve seen in a long, long time. If for no other reason, pick up a copy of this book to display on your shelf. Seriously–gorgeous.
Seriously? How beautiful is she?? Always smiling, this one. 🙂
How would you like to WIN a copy of Sixty Acres and a Bride by Regina Jennings? That’s right– a copy of your very own!
How to win: Leave a comment on this post. If we reach 20 (or more) comments, one of those commenters will be chosen at random to win a copy of this novel! The contest is open until 9 pm EST on Sunday, March 18th, and the winner will be announced in my post on Monday, March 19th, 2012! Good luck!!