I am so excited to welcome author Brenda S. Anderson back to the blog to talk about her new book, Planting Hope!
Brenda S. Anderson writes gritty and authentic, life-affirming fiction. She is a member of the American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW), and is Past-President of the ACFW Minnesota chapter, MN-NICE, the 2016 ACFW Chapter of the Year. When not reading or writing, she enjoys music, theater, roller coasters, and baseball, and she loves watching movies with her family. She lives in the Minneapolis, Minnesota area with her husband of 30 years, their three children, and one sassy cat.
Readers can learn more about Brenda S. Anderson at www.brendaandersonbooks.com
Her new book, Planting Hope, is the third book in her Where the Heart Is series!
When flowers and chocolate collide, romance is sure to bloom
Family has always been the one constant in Jess Beaumont’s messy life, so when her parents separate, she puts “Operation: Planting Hope” into action. All she has to do is recreate the circumstances that helped her parents fall in love. Unfortunately, that includes the daunting task of restoring the family cabin’s gardens. When the handsome candy store owner shows up to help, she’s certain she has all the elements required for her parents’ love to bloom again. After all, flowers and chocolate are the perfect ingredients for romance.
Luke Harrison has spent his life trying to win his father’s approval, and a promotion in the family land development business would be a step in that direction. But when he inherits Gran’s candy store, his dreams of being promoted start melting away. Then his dad dangles a Vice President position in front of Luke, with one caveat—acquire the land on both sides of Gran’s store within five months, including the Beaumont cabin, and the promotion is his.
What at first seemed a simple challenge for Luke becomes a tangled mess. Buying the Beaumont cabin and land will nip his blossoming romance with Jess in the bud. Even worse, it could end her parents’ marriage. But if he doesn’t succeed, he could be trading in his corner office for the corner candy store.
Hi Brenda! Welcome back to the blog!
Brenda: That would be Applebee’s Maple Blondie with pecans and maple, white-chocolate sauce. I’m drooling just thinking about it!
Carrie: Oh yum! Yes please 🙂
Brenda: The lilac. It’s short lived, but I love how the fragrance fills the spring air!
Carrie: We used to have a lilac bush in our yard when I lived in Northern Illinois. One of my favorites!
Brenda: Oh boy, that’s more difficult to choose than Favorite Book! How about my favorite recent release? “Jesus I Believe” by Big Daddy Weave.
Carrie: I know … I would have a hard time choosing too! You made an excellent choice though 😀
Q: Tell me some good books you’ve read recently!
Brenda: Some of my favorites from this year include:
- Portrait of Vengeance by Carrie Stuart Parks
- A Moonbow Night by Laura Frantz
- The Broken Trail by Christa MacDonald
- Knee-High Lies by Dawn Ford
- The Color of Truth by Stacy Monson
Carrie: I’ve read (and loved) those first two – adding the other three to my TBR galaxy!
Q: Writing spaces are as diverse as authors and books. Where is your favorite space to write?
Brenda: Writing, for me, comes in stages, and not all of them include sitting at the computer. I do a lot of pre-writing in my head which happens when I take walks, or when I’m driving, or even as I’m trying to sleep. Once I have a good handle on an idea or scene, then I put my keister in the chair by my desktop computer and spill the words onto the screen.
Carrie: I think the best ideas come when trying to go to sleep lol. Why is that?
Q: In Planting Hope, your heroine Jess is restoring her family cabin’s gardens. Luke, your hero, has just inherited his Gran’s candy store. Which would you rather do?
Brenda: Definitely run a candy store! Unlike Jess, I have a very brown thumb, and I can’t arrange flowers to like nice at all. But I have worked in a candy store, which was a lot of fun! One thing almost every customer had in common, was that they were happy to have their chocolate. The only time we got grumpy customers was during holiday rushes. ?
Carrie: I have yet to meet a plant I couldn’t kill… or a candy store I didn’t love 😉
Q: On a related note, do you have a favorite candy recipe you love to make?
Combine in saucepan ~
(2) cups sugar
(1) cup evaporated milk
(1) stick of real butter
Bring to a rolling boil, stirring continuously.
Boil for 5 minutes
Remove from heat
Stir in ~
(1) cup chocolate chips
(1) cup Graham cracker crumbs
(1) cup flour
Fold into a cake pan. I use a 2-quart, 11 x 7 Pyrex pan for thicker bars.
Refrigerate until solid
Carrie: Excuse me while I wipe the drool off my keyboard and make a grocery list!
Q: Jess is trying to save her parents’ marriage, so when Luke gets involved Jess thinks she’s finally got the perfect ingredients – flowers and chocolate – for romance. If you were writing a recipe for romance, what ingredients would you use?
Brenda: I would start out with by combining one chivalrous, devoted, encouraging, and handsome young man with a joy-filled, persistent, talented, and beautiful young woman who are both devoted to family. I would gently stir in fresh air, fall trees, lapping water, and bird calls. Then I would fold in generous helpings of chocolate, fruit, and flowers, and infuse it all with Hope that only God can provide.
Carrie: oh i love that!!!
Q: What do you most want readers to take away from Planting Hope?
Brenda: In my life, I’ve been very guilty of placing real hope in things that will always fail us: in family, friends, work, the next sale, a good review… My hero longs for his Dad’s approval. My heroine is striving to keep her family together. And that’s where they place to much hope. Those are all good things, but they will all let us down. Our true hope—our only hope—is in Christ alone.
Thank you so much for taking time to talk with me! 🙂 Before we say goodbye for today, tell us what‘s coming up next for you.
Brenda: I’m excited to begin writing my next book, temporarily titled Innocence Restored. It’s about a woman who fights to free her wrongly-incarcerated husband from prison, only to find that her real battle begins when he’s released: the fight to save her marriage. At this time, the book is a standalone, but who knows what will happen down the road?
Carrie: Oh wow! That sounds powerful!! Can’t wait!
Brenda is offering a copy of Planting Hope to one of my readers! (Print if US winner, ebook if International winner) Void where prohibited by law. This giveaway is subject to Reading Is My SuperPower’s giveaway policies which can be found here. Enter via the Rafflecopter form below.
What about you? Would you rather restore a garden or run a candy store?