Another Morning at Character Café — Featuring Ben Findlay of A Not so Persistent Suitor

Stay tuned until the end for an awesome GIVEAWAY Opportunity!

Welcome to Character Café!  I’m Amy, one of the baristas and an avid reader.  Which leads me to ask – what are you writing so quickly?

Good morning!  I’m Ben.  I work for the Times-Star here in Cincinnati.  I saw an unusual occurrence a couple blocks away.  And then when I saw your sign for free coffee, I decided to come in and jot down the details.  I hope you don’t mind.

Of course, I don’t mind.  I read the Times-Star myself.  Have I read any of your articles? 

If you have, you wouldn’t have noticed my name.  I have yet to write any feature articles.  My boss was allowing me to write less consequential items for a time.  However, now I am back to writing advertisements.  (But as you can see, I keep trying to write newsworthy articles in the hope that my boss will except one.)

You seem unhappy about your job.  I’m sorry.  Care to tell me what happened?

The trouble is, I don’t know exactly what is happening. But it all started this past summer when my boss gave me the opportunity to attend a banquet at the Burnet House.

The Burnet House!  Wow!  That’s a highfalutin’ place.  You can meet all sorts of celebrities and politicians there.  What an opportunity for a news reporter!

That’s precisely why I was willing to go – even though the stipulation from Mr. Bridges was that to attend I had to accompany his daughter, Felicia.  It was a terrible mistake.

The two of you didn’t hit it off?

Oh, she was a nice enough girl.  However, I was already courting someone.  Cora. 


Cora is beautiful.  She has the softest and loveliest brown eyes, with striking dark brows and hair.  But beyond her beauty, she is brave and kind.  And she has such a passion for teaching young children.  She attends the Cincinnati Kindergarten Training School.  And her brother is one of my best friends.

Does Cora know that you escorted another woman to a banquet?

Oh yes, I never intended to keep it a secret.  In fact, I told my boss that I was in a serious courtship before agreeing to take his daughter to the Burnet.  And Mr. Bridges acted as though his daughter would understand.  That this event was just business.

So then, what is the problem?

It was soon apparent that Mr. Bridges hadn’t told his daughter that I wasn’t available.  And after the dinner, it appeared that all three of the Bridges expected me to come calling at their home.  That I was expected to begin courting Felicia.

You don’t seem like the sort of man who would two-time to get ahead, Ben.  But we have all made bad choices.

Oh no, Amy.  I would never.  I am so in love with Cora.  But when I went to tell Cora what happened, she didn’t react how I would have expected.  I thought she would understand why I had gotten into that position.  Instead, Cora acted angry.  And very hurt.

Then Felicia Bridges saw me on the street and tried to coerce me into escorting her home.  And I refused, but after telling Cora what happened, Cora demanded that I call on Felicia and tell her that I was already in a relationship.  And though I tried to do so as kindly as possible, Felicia took it very hard.  Events escalated, and now I have been demoted.   Circumstances have gotten so grim, that I had to tell Cora that I needed to stop courting her for a time.

What?!  But, I can tell that you love her so much!

That I do.  But it is getting too busy here in your café for me to continue telling you my woes.  You can learn more about my challenges – and meet my lovely Cora by reading A Not So Persistent Suitor.

I certainly will.  I can’t wait to find out more about your troubles working at the Times-Star.  And I am fascinated by what teaching kindergarten is like in the 1880s in Chicago.  By the way, I did my own student teaching in kindergarten – 120 years later, ha ha!  Listen, as a little pick-me-up, you can order whatever beverage you would like, and a breakfast item, on the house.  Maybe there’s something on the menu that reminds you of happier times.  You can eat it in faith, as a reminder that things will get better. As Psalm 30:5 says, …weeping may remain for a night, but rejoicing comes in the morning.

I believe that is one of Cora’s favorite scriptures.  She is so full of faith.  I, not so much.  Another reason I’m not worthy of her. 

Cora sounds wonderful.  I really hope things work out between the two of you.

Did I tell you that Cora works at Dan’s Sweet Shop?

No!  I’ve heard of Dan and his original soda concoctions.  He uses a lot of licorice, doesn’t he?  But people seem to love his shop.  He’s one of our biggest competitors.  

Yes. And I am not partial to his licorice concoctions. However I did enjoy a butterscotch soda while waiting for Cora to finish wiping down the counters – back before our courtship fell apart.  So I think I will try one of your butterscotch scones.

Oh, you will love it.  We use a wonderful recipe from Once Upon a Chef.  Here is the link:  Now what about one of our teas?

I believe one of Cora’s most favorite things in all the world is ice cream.  So I will have a cup of the ice cream tea.  Thanks for your encouragement, Amy.  While I drink it, I am going to spend some time praying that before too long, Cora will once again be accompanying me for ice cream.

You do that, Ben. 

Readers, if you like tea, you might want to try Steven Smith’s Ice Cream Royale Tea – “Rich, buttery-tasting oolong tea from Taiwan swirled with French sugar pearls, chamomile petals, amaretto and double fold vanilla. Like getting a scrumptious ice cream sundae, every day of the week.”

And of course, you have to check out A Not So Persistent Suitor.  Here is more about it:

Cora Welch dreams of a future teaching kindergarten, which is in its infancy, and marriage to Ben Findlay, her beau and her twin brother’s best friend. But she returns to college from summer break to learn of Ben’s unwise choices in pursuit of his career—choices that destroy her trust in the man she thought she knew and loved.

Ben is working hard toward his dream to become the best reporter in the city. He’s no stranger to fighting for a goal against all odds, ever since he was orphaned at age thirteen. Even though Cora has captured his heart, he makes the mistake of escorting the boss’s daughter to a fancy banquet to further his career—with far-reaching repercussions. Now he’s hurt Cora and botched his career goals.

Winning Cora’s trust again proves harder than Ben expects, especially as they both face struggles of their own. When events spiral out of their control, catapulting them into hardship and even danger, only God can restore their dreams—though the outcome may look far different than either of them planned.

Here is the link to the GIVEAWAY of a $50 Amazon gift card as we celebrate this beautiful novel with the author, Sandra Merville Hart,  and Celebrate Lit:

Here is the purchase link:

If you would like to hear what other bloggers are saying about novel, check out the rest of the stops on the Celebrate Lit tour! 

Blog Stops

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, February 15

Blossoms and Blessings, February 15

Texas Book-aholic, February 16

deb’s Book Review, February 17

Locks, Hooks and Books, February 18

Writing from Walsh Mountain, February 18

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, February 19

Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, February 20

Connie’s History Classroom, February 21

Holly’s Book Corner, February 21

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, February 22

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, February 23

Simple Harvest Reads, February 24 (Guest Review from Donna Cline)

For Him and My Family, February 25

lakesidelivingsite, February 26

Christina’s Corner, February 26

Cover Lover Book Review, February 27

Pause for Tales, February 28

Mary Hake, February 28

5 responses to “Another Morning at Character Café — Featuring Ben Findlay of A Not so Persistent Suitor”

  1. what a fun interview!! thank you

    1. I am so glad you enjoyed it! 🙂

  2. What a fun review!

    1. Thank you so much, Emma! I love doing character interviews — and linking them to teas and treats!

  3. This is a fun introduction to Ben and explains the difficulties he faces in his career and relationship with Cora.

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