As part of the Celebrate Lit Blog Tour for Pepper Basham’s fantastic romcom Just the Way You Are, I’m delighted to chat today with her heroine, Eisley Barrett.
Hi Eisley! Welcome to the blog! Thank you so much for chatting with me!
Eisley: Hey Carrie! I hope you don’t mind, but I brought Wes along in case you had any questions for him. Most people do. *winks* They just want to hear him talk and he’s pretty easy on the eyes too.
Carrie: gfjdksklhgskjaslkksdna Um… I mean … <squeaks> Hello.
Ahem. I start all of my guests out with a fast four:
Eisley: Chocolate anything. Really. If it’s a dessert and chocolate is involved, I’m a happy girl.
Carrie: Chocolate works!
Eisley: Christmas. <<looks over at Wes and sighs>> Great things happen around Christmas.
Carrie: Oh indeed #heavenhelpme
Eisley: Oh gee whiz, I’m not sure. I like the bright ones best. Hmm…probably daisies. I love roses too, but that sounds like such a common answer, I wanted to give you something a little different.
Carrie: Daisies are the friendliest flower!
Eisley: Well, for faith-based songs I’ve always loved the hymn What Wondrous Love is This. The melody isn’t all that chipper, but the words are an amazing reminder of how much God loves us, and at what a cost.
Another one of my favorite songs is You Got Me by Colbie Callait, because I just feel like that song fits this journey Wes and I have had so far. Because, honestly, that crooked smile of his literally knocked me off my feet a few times.
Wes: <<crooked smile emerges>>
Eisley: See? Doesn’t it weaken your knees too, Carrie? And he hasn’t even said a word yet!
Carrie: gjflksdlkdhfkdjsl I mean… <<squeaks>> uh huh.
Wes: In all honesty, pet, your smile weakens my knees too.
Eisley: <<pauses to stare at Wes a few seconds>> Neither one of us should think of operating heavy machinery or dancing while smiling with all this weak knee stuff going on.
Carrie: <<fans>> Yep. I love those songs! <<fans>>
Being a mom to your three kids is a top priority in your life. What’s your favorite part of motherhood?
Eisley: Those quiet moments after all the kids are in bed? <<laughs>> No, I’m kidding. There are way too many to list just one favorite. I love my kids’ imaginations. I have an absolute blast watching how their personalities show up in totally different ways, even if sometimes it involves a scantily clad two-year-old and web-slinging five-year old. They amaze me every day – and make me laugh and remind me what life is really all about. Living.
Carrie: “scantily clad two-year-old” hahahaha!! I love it!
As a child from a large family, what are some of the pros and cons of large families?
Eisley: A definite con is bathroom space. Seriously, my brother Greg could hog the bathroom much longer than any girl I’ve ever heard doing. But with a houseful of people, bathrooms were a valued commodity. And then there’s the comparison game, which I think can happen in any situation, but with people in such close quarters we’re bound to struggle sometimes with not measuring up to one person or another. My parents have always been great about treating all the kids equally and praising our individual strengths, but sometimes we naturally compare, you know?
As far as pros – there are loads- but first and foremost I’d say that a large family creates its own amazing community of support. They’ve been my cheerleaders, counselors, brainstormers, comforters. They’re amazing. I also have free childcare. A single mom values that more than you can know.
Carrie: I have no frame of reference for this – it was just me and my brother growing up 🙂
Your first in-person encounter with Wes Harrison was… unique. We all know what you were thinking about him. (And we agree) Imagine you could have seen inside Wes’ mind that day. How do you think he was reacting to you?
Eisley: <<laughs>> Goodness gracious, what was he thinking about me? <<sends Wes a grin and shrugs>> Well, I’m certain he was suspicious of this clumsy and annoying redhead his father had invited to stay with his family. It doesn’t help I fell on his father during our first meeting, so that only deepened his suspicion and probably dislike.
Wes: <<answers over her shoulder>> She was confusing. She might have been the one falling in the airport, but I was stumbling about on the inside trying to sort out this beautiful personality. Like she said, I desperately wanted to pin some sort of mischief behind her ready smile, but soon found myself enamored with her generosity of heart and genuine kindness. Who would not be disarmed?
Eisley: <<takes his hands and squeezes it>> See? How can you not swoon in a puddle over something like that? No wonder he writes screenplays.
Carrie: tgieguhdakfhuaks; I mean … <<squeaks>> You guys are so cute!
When do you think things started changing between the two of you? Because, clearly, you’ve come a long way from that first meeting!
Eisley: Oh, well, I didn’t acknowledge it at the time, but I’m pretty sure it started when took my hand after we bore our souls to each other on a cliff top overlooking Lornegrave. We shook on friendship, but I’m pretty sure my heart jumped to all sorts of conclusions and redefinitions of ‘friendship’.
Wes: If I may, Carrie?
Carrie: fdkslghsdlkdfjjkdslk Ummm… I mean <<squeaks>> Sure!
Wes: The London Eye began the true attraction, but the dance stole my heart altogether.
Eisley: Thankfully, it was only his heart. I tried to steal about eight of his toes with my poor dancing antics in heels too.
Wes: <<laughs>> But the creek scene. It was a true goner at that point. She was too adorable to ignore.
Eisley: Adorable? <<rolls her eyes>> I was soaking wet and covered in mud. <<looks back at Carrie>> You see? Love is deliciously blind.
Eisley, some people who have heard your and Wes’ story are calling him… umm… well… #Wescandy. Yes, there’s even a hashtag making the rounds. What’s your reaction to their obvious admiration for him?
Eisley: Smart people! Seriously, Carrie, what’s not to admire, right? However, I’ll be quick to add, look but don’t touch. This movie star is mine (and until he really realizes what he’s gotten himself into, I’m going to keep living in his delusion as long as possible)
Wes: I’m happily delusional, thanks, and to be honest, I’m convinced I’ve received the best part of this relationship. When you’ve lived in a world with so much pretense and you find someone who lives life with such honesty and passion, you want to join in this journey of life with that one person who will, not only bring your whole world into perspective and quicken your heart to so many things you’d never imagined, but also someone to enjoy a real friendship with. I feel certain, I’m the lucky one.
Eisley: See? This is why he’s #Wescandy and so much more! All that fairy tale stuff, happening right here to me! God just dumped a whole cloud-full of pixie dust on my head in the form of a swoony Englishman! <<turns to Wes>> And Remind me to reward you for that answer later, okay?
Carrie: Seriously… i love you two!
Wes, you’re from England. Eisley, you’re from Appalachia. If you could visit anywhere together, where would you want to go?
Eisley: Hmm…<<looks over at Wes>>
Wes: <<raises a brow>> Well, I’ve developed a particular fondness for closets.
Eisley: Oh, and six-hundred-year-old towers are nice too.
Carrie: dslgdslkghsdlk Where’s my fan?!?
Wes: You know, I don’t think it really matters as long as an ocean doesn’t separate us, don’t you think, pet?
Eisley: Exactly, which I’m hoping will be remedied sometime soon. Many waters might can’t quench love, but it can certainly lead to loads of distraction and heartache.
Wes: Just wait, I think we have many more adventures and much less separation in our future.
Carrie: <<whispers>> Did Wes call ME pet?!?
Pepper Basham is an award-winning author who writes novels inspired by her love for history and the Blue Ridge Mountains. Her Penned in Time series has garnered recognition in the Inspys, Grace Awards, and the ACFW Carol Awards. Her contemporary romance novel, A Twist of Faith, received 4-stars from Romantic Times, and her most recent historical release, The Thorn Healer, received a Top Pick from RT with 4 ½ stars. Her newest contemporary romance, Just the Way You Are, releases in April 2017 and also received a Top Pick from RT! You can get to know Pepper on her website, Facebook, Instagram or over at her group blog, The Writer’s Alley.
To celebrate her tour, Pepper is giving away a Grand Prize consisting of:
A ‘chest’ – in JTWYA historical letters are discovered in a chest that relates to the historical storyline, so all of these lovely goodies are going to be safely inside this chest.
Chocolate – several references take place in JTWYA that compare the hero to chocolate ?
A plaque about family – because that’s a main point of importance in JTWYA
A Spider-man zipper pull – Pete, the heroine’s son, is a major Spider-man fan.
English Breakfast Tea – The hero is English…swoony English
A dishcloth – again, something that relates to a scene in the book regarding the hero and dishes (twice)
Stirring spoon and measuring cups – food and cooking are a big part of Appalachian culture and fellowship, something celebrated in JTWYA
A notebook – Eisley (the heroine) is taking notes about a historical family mystery
A lovely container full of cloth flowers (for fun, and beauty) – the container says – Love and you will be loved. Loving others has an amazing way to find its way back to us (as is what happens in JTWYA)
A little plaque that reads “You are Loved” – a theme of this story
A beautiful lace doily from England (the English part of the story)
Some “Pixie Dust” a fun visualization of the ‘magic’ of romance in this story
and A copy of Just the Way You Are!!
Click below to enter. US only. Be sure to comment on this post before you enter to claim 9 extra entries!
Follow along with the Celebrate Lit Blog Tour for a list of blog stops!