Author Interview (and a Giveaway!): Brenda S. Anderson & Planting Hope

Posted September 21, 2017 by meezcarrie in Author Interview, Brenda S Anderson, Christian, contemporary, giveaway, romance / 69 Comments

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

You can also connect with Brenda on Facebook, Pinterest, Goodreads and Twitter.

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.

goodreads button RIMSP amazon button RIMSP

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: Christmas!

Carrie: Yay!!

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:

  1. Portrait of Vengeance by Carrie Stuart Parks
  2. A Moonbow Night by Laura Frantz
  3. The Broken Trail by Christa MacDonald
  4. Knee-High Lies by Dawn Ford
  5. 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.

Carrie: Amen.

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.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

What about you? Would you rather restore a garden or run a candy store?

Tags: , , ,

69 responses to “Author Interview (and a Giveaway!): Brenda S. Anderson & Planting Hope

  1. Winnie Thomas

    Thanks for the fun interview with a new-to-me author. I must add this book to my TBR pile. 😀 It sounds intriguing.

  2. Evangeline

    Unfortunately, I have a “brown thumb,” so I guess I would have to run a candy store. ?? This sounds like a delightful read by a new-to-me author, and I would love to win a copy.

  3. Paula S.

    I have bad knees , so if I could overcome that– gardening would be less fattening because I’d be tempted to eat a lot of candy.

    • The temptation to eat too much candy is real, Paula S.! When I worked at a candy store during college, I never got sick of it, and that brand is still my favorite. Thank goodness, stores are no longer in our state. 🙂

  4. Penny Mooney

    I have to read this book! I would rather garden than make candy. I love to bake and I do make candy but working in a garden makes me feel so close to God. It was nice meeting you today. I am going to go get your book and read it. xoxoxo

    • Any time we’re out in nature, I think we feel closer to God. Can you imagine those very first gardens He planted?! Someday, we’ll experience that beauty!

      Very nice meeting you too, Penny! I hope you enjoy Jess & Luke’s story! 🙂

  5. Perrianne Askew

    I’m all about the chocolate, so the candy store would be for me. I have a black thumb. I would love to read your book, as you would be a new author for me. I love new Authors! Thank you for the giveaway opportunity.

  6. Kay Garrett

    I would rather run a candy store possibly making a lot of the goodies sold there since I love to do that sort of thing. My hubby would be the one to restore a garden since I think he has not one but two green thumbs. So between us both, we should have all the bases covered. 🙂

  7. Sonnetta

    NO contest. I would prefer to restore the garden. The goal would be to see the final glorious product. Oh my?????

  8. Vivian Furbay

    What’s more important getting a promotion when doing so will hurt the woman you are falling in love with or the money and notoriety that comes with it.

  9. Michelle Lunsford

    Chocolate and flowers, along with some romance and tension due to competing motives for wanting that cabin and land? Sounds like a winner.

  10. Rita Wray

    I’d better stick to the garden because I wouldn’t have much candy left to sell after I ate my share. lol

  11. Donna B

    I would have to choose the candy store because if I tried the garden it would be dead in a week. I love baking and candy making!

  12. emilee

    Candy store for sure! I love making yummy confections! Love this book cover! I am looking forward to reading it!

Leave a Reply