Regina Jennings: Vegetable Hater

“Friendship is born at that moment when one person says to another: “What! You too? I thought I was the only one.”
Regina Jennings

Regina Jennings. Isn’t she beautiful? Go to her website.

I love that quote by C.S. Lewis, and it comes to my mind when I think of Regina Jennings: kindred spirit, historical romance phenomenon, and vegetable hater.

I’m pretty sure that God knew what He was doing when He threw Regina and I together at the 2010 ACFW conference. We were both nervous newbies but within minutes, I knew I’d found a kindred spirit. We couldn’t talk for five minutes without one of us saying “Me, too!” or breaking into hysterical laughter.

Fast forward three years, and Regina is releasing her second historical romance with Bethany house, while I’m looking forward to the debut of my first historical fiction. Kind of amazing.

For my first author interview on my blog, I asked Regina a few pertinent and insightful questions about writing conferences, food, and where to shop. Enjoy her answers, then scroll down for my review of her just released novel, Love in the Balance.

So, Regina, lets talk about the important stuff first. Who was your all time favorite ACFW roommate?

My all time favorite ACFW roommate is this lady from the frozen north that I met in 2010. What makes her the perfect companion for a stressful weekend like conference is that she is sympathetic, realistic and wickedly funny. She doesn’t throw things at me for waking up at 5 a.m.  and she doesn’t mind if I borrow her toothbrush. Or maybe I forgot to ask.

Hmmm. I’ll pack an extra toothbrush this year. I know you’re a huge Downton Abbey fan, so here’s an easy one: If you could take your family anywhere in the world for a week, where would you go?

Tough decision. I’d love to take my family to England. We’d stay in London to explore the historical sites and museums, but because some members of our family are younger we’d then need to find some space…in maybe Scotland…to hike and poke around some ancient ruins.

Since we usually only get to see each other once a year, we don’t do normal friend things, like go shopping or to lunch. So tell me, what store do you always end up overspending in?

Have you ever suffered from buyer’s remorse? I get it while still in line waiting to check out. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve found the perfect outfit, accessory or appliance and after 5 minutes of standing in line I convince myself that I don’t need it after all. I take it back to the shelf and walk out.

And so you won’t think I’m completely mental, I will spend too much at a bookstore…if the line is short enough that I don’t have time to regret it.

Me, too! Books are really the only purchase important enough to make me wait in line. And now… the question that’s burning in everyone’s minds: Why don’t you like vegetables?

I don’t like vegetables because they don’t taste like sugar, cream cheese or chocolate. When they create a salad that tastes like Oreos, I’ll eat it.

Thanks for taking a stand against vegetables, Regina. Anyone else have a question for Regina? I’ll pick a commenter to win a copy of Regina’s book, Love in the Balance.

Regina Jenning’s second novel in the Ladies of Caldwell County series is just as delightful as her first.

Molly, the heroine of Love In The Balance, had me squirming in my comfy reading chair from the very first page. Now Molly isn’t your typical romantic heroine. She’s selfish, sometimes petty, and more than a little stuck on herself. As the novel opens, her only redeeming quality is that she’s also stuck on Bailey Garner, a sweetheart of a cowboy that you (and Molly) just can’t help but love.

Molly is a diamond in the rough. It will take some serious conflict, soul-searching, and ultimately a mistake of heartbreaking proportions to make this girl into the jewel that we all know she can be. I kept the pages flying, rooting for Molly to strip away her old self and become the girl that Bailey deserves, even as she resists change every step of the way.

Bailey has his own battles to fight and he fights them well. He might not be all that Molly thinks she wants, but it’s clear from the get-go that he is everything that she needs. As he loses hope in his chances with Molly, we are drawn into his struggles and suffer right along with him, hoping against hope that he can somehow find happiness, even when it seems like all is lost.

Regina manages Molly’s transformation and Bailey’s struggles with grace, style, and her trademark humor. She is adept at creating down to earth characters—real people who make mistakes, search their souls, make more mistakes, and FINALLY become the people that we know they can be.

Love In The Balance challenges us all to root out those bits and pieces of ourselves that are less than lovely, to see ourselves for what we are and for what we can become through faith, hope, and a whole lot of love. I’m looking forward to more Ladies of Caldwell County and I have every reason to believe I won’t be disappointed.

Remember, leave a comment or question for Regina to be entered to win a copy of Love in the Balance!

 

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