Sunday, May 1, 2011

The Forest Ranger's Promise Interview

How exciting to have _ Melanie McAllister the heroine from The Forest Ranger’s Promise_a May 2011 release from Love Inspired Romance .

1. Melanie, tell me the most interesting thing about you.

I can make the best pickle pie in three counties! Seriously. I suppose running a sheep ranch is also one of the most interesting things about me. It’s a tough profession for a woman, but it’s all I’ve ever known. Opal Ranch has been in my family for four generations. But I always wanted to go to college too. I’d like to study science. In high school, I got pretty good grades in math and science. I just never got the chance to go on to college. I married quite young after high school, had a child, and then my husband died in an accident. I find a lot of solitude in my work, but there are days when I’d love to find the time and resources to branch out and see what else I could do. The ranch is so much a part of me, but it’s not my identity. I’m going to take an online course next fall and see how I do. It’s been a long time since I did homework. Wish me luck!

2. What do you do for fun?

Hunt nightcrawlers at midnight. My daughter and I like to go fishing now and then. But we haven’t had much fun over the past few years. First, my husband had a substance abuse problem, but I’d rather not talk about that. After he passed away, I was always working so hard just to keep us going. But I must say I absolutely love watching my daughter play soccer. She’s really good. And fast. And after a game, we love to go get ice cream cones at the drive in, if it’s open. (The town we live in is quite small, so the drive in only opens up during the summer tourist season.) If it’s not open yet, I take us home and make us ice cream cones. We sit outside on the back porch and watch the sunset. Remember my home is called Opal Ranch, with good reason. White and gold-colored mountains surround the valley where I live. It’s so beautiful watching the sun set light up the sky with red and orange clouds.

I also love feeding the dogie (orphan) lambs with my daughter, Anne. It’s a lot of hard work, but it’s also a lot of fun. The baby lambs are so voracious to latch onto the bottles that they almost knock you down. Their little tails move so quick that they look like a whirling dervish. So cute and fuzzy!

3. What do you put off doing because you dread it?

Mucking out stalls. Yuck! What can I say? It’s a dirty job.

4. What are you afraid of most in life?

Losing my ability to think and act for myself. Before his death, my husband kept me pretty much under his thumb. After he died, I never wanted to marry again. I wanted to be able to do what I thought was right without being belittled or abused in any way. Then I met a very special man who taught me that real love is when you put other people’s needs before your own. I never thought I’d meet someone like Scott. He loves me unconditionally. And he’s taught me what real love is. Now I’m not afraid anymore.

5. What do you want out of life?

To be a beauty pageant queen. Yeah, right!

Seriously, I want to raise my daughter to be a good, righteous young woman. To be loved and to give love in return. To work and serve my family and the Lord in any way I can.

6. What is the most important thing to you?

Chocolate. Okay, okay. Maybe that’s the second most important thing. The first would have to be my family. I know it might sound cliché, but I’ve faced losing everything in my life. My home, livelihood, husband and child. And that kind of situation really puts perspective on things. I can honestly say I don’t care where I have to live as long as I can be safe with my family. And being able to live at Opal Ranch is just icing on my cake. It is the Garden of Eden for me. No prettier place on earth.

7. Do you read books? If so, what is your favorite type of book?

Are you kidding? I love to read! I enjoy books on the Presidents of the United States. I have a really good memory and can name each president, who his vice president was, and who they ran against. Odd, I know. But there it is anyway.

8. If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?

I wish I had softer hands. I also wish I weren’t such a pessimist. I worry too much. I always think the worst thing is going to happen. Maybe that’s because so many bad things have happened in my life. But now, I have a chance to change all of that. I don’t think life will ever be easy, but the Lord has strengthened and blessed me to be able to face whatever comes.

9. Do you have a pet? If so, what is it and why that pet?

I have hundreds of pets! Sheep, horses, and a few cows. But they really aren’t pets. I have a black and white border collie with droopy ears named Bob, because he has a bobbed tail. He’s the best sheep dog I’ve ever seen. Gentle, quiet, and he does his work with very few commands. He’s getting old now, but he’s my good friend.

10. If you could travel back in time, where would you go and why?

I’d like to visit Norway during the time of King Harald Fairhair. Not to stay, mind you. But just to visit. I love history and am curious about what kind of man King Harald must have been to unite ancient Norway for the first time under one king. This would have also been during the time of Rollo, the First Duke of Normandy. I’d like to ask him why he started raiding his own Norse people along the Vik and got outlawed from Norway. I have my own ideas on why he did it, but I’d like to ask him…if he would take off my head first. :)

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