If you’re familiar with my Historical Fiction, you know that my stories tend to feature a “Titus 2:3” type mentor as a secondary character. In The Sinclair Sisters of Cripple Creek Series, it was Miss Hattie, the proprietor of a boarding house. In The Quilted Heart novellas,the key woman of influence is Mrs. Brantenberg.
Meet Elsa Brantenberg, who owns the farm where the Saint Charles Quilting Circle meets in The Quilted Heart novellas. By the way, I borrowed my mother-in-law’s birth name for this character.
1) How would you describe yourself to others?
A busy widow and Oma to my granddaughter, Gabi, with no time to fuss over what was or could have been.
2) Do you have any favorite pastimes or special skills?
I have lots of experience at running a farm and tending an apple orchard. Some say I’m a fine quilter. Actually talked me into starting a quilting circle and teaching quilting in my home. Most fun I’d had in a long spell.
3) How would the women in your quilting circle describe you?
I’m a hugger. No woman gets past my porch, either direction, without a hug.
4) What is most important to you?
That my sweet little Gabi girl, my granddaughter, grows up knowing she is loved. The assurance that you’re loved and cared for can carry you a long ways.
5) How do you face disappointments in life?
I grit my teeth. Probably stomp my foot. Whisper or shout a prayer. Then I embroider a tea towel, make apple crisp, or finish a quilt and take it to someone who needs the encouragement even more than I do.
6) What do you put off doing because you dread it?
Explaining to Gabi that the war has been over for several months, and that if her papa hasn’t returned by now, he is dead. Or alive without any intention of returning.
7) You buried your husband then your daughter, and lost your son-in-law to grief, how did you keep going?
I had a farm to run and a precious granddaughter to raise, and I knew the good Lord was at my side. Always is. It was after I buried Gretchen that I started the quilting circle out here on the farm. Many of those dear women are like daughters to me. A couple of them like sisters.
8) What is the thing you love most about Quilting Circle Thursdays?
The laughter and the tears. The smiles and the sighs. Hearing the other women grow in their confidence to share the Scripture with one another and their commitment to pray for one another.
9) If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?
My emotions can swing like the pendulum on that fancy clock at the bank. If I could change, I would not be so passionate. I’d rather my emotions be steady, unwavering. At least, slow enough for my brain to catch up to them.
10) Do you have a life verse, a passage of Scripture that holds special significance to you?
Yes, from Psalm 119:104. “Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.” I may not always be able to trust my feelings and emotions, or anyone else’s for that matter, but the Word of the Lord is completely and consistently trustworthy.
If you’ve read The Quilted Heart novellas, you’d be doing me a huge favor, if you’d write a review on The Quilted Heart omnibus for amazon.com, goodreads.com, christianbook.com, barnesandnoble.com, and novelcrossings.com, and any other outlets you’re familiar with.
Thank you! And Happy Reading.