Hello, readers! I am pleased to introduce you to author Candice Sue Patterson today. I met Candice through the ACFW (American Christian Fiction Writers) Romance Genre Facebook group page. I’ve mentioned how much I appreciate these networking, assisting, and encouraging opportunities afforded to us through this organization. At any rate, let’s meet Candice!
Thanks for being on my blog today, Candice! First, can you tell us a little about your novel?
How to Stir a Baker’s Heart is a contemporary romance set in coastal Maine. It’s book two in my Cadence of Acadia series. They’re written as standalone novels, so book two can be read without reading book one first. Here is the back cover description of the novel:
Certified mental health therapist Olivia Hudson has spiraled into a dark depression her own training can’t pull her out of. Since Olivia can’t return to her practice when she can’t even help herself, she moves to Stone Harbor, Maine, to heal and help her dementia-ridden grandmother run her once-famous bakery.
Blake Hartford is living his dream of farming blueberries and restoring a Victorian farmhouse on his coastal property, while his beloved community withers away under a rocky economy. Blake joins the town board to help revamp things and boost the much-needed tourism that can turn his community around.
After a misunderstanding with the bakery owner’s granddaughter and the town board’s suggestion they lead the tourism project together, life in Stone Harbor gets a little bit sweeter. But when the truth of Olivia’s past comes to light, Blake is forced to confront his own.
How to Stir a Baker’s Heart is a story of healing and forgiveness, proving God can mend our brokenness and soften even the hardest of hearts.
This seems particularly interesting to me. I have experienced postpartum depression after each of my three children’s births. I feel depression is just now coming out “into the light” and being understood at large. We as a society are fighting the stigma and being more open. I hope that your book is only one of many that increases others’ understanding. So, thank you.
Did you always want to be a writer? If not, what did you want to be when you were a child?
I’ve wanted to write books since I was old enough to hold them. They’ve always held a fascination for me. I always wanted to be a librarian, too. It drove my mom crazy when I would “stamp” the inside covers of my books, pretending to be a librarian. When we passed those books along years later, the covers were full of black ink. I’m blessed to be living both dreams now.
Fun! My grandfather always said “find something you love, then find someone who will pay pay you to do that.”
What are you currently reading?
Tamera Alexander’s With This Pledge. She’s one of my favorite historical romance authors. Her attention to detail, and the complex, moving way she writes her characters amazes me every time.
I, too, am a Tamera Alexander fan. I am just starting to make my way through her books. Looking forward toWith This Pledge myself.
What about your writing environment? What kind of music, if any, do you listen to when you write?
I don’t listen to music, but I listen to sounds to immerse me in the setting. For example, my Cadence of Acadia series is set in coastal Maine, so I would listen to ocean waves while writing. Sometimes I’ll even light a candle for inspiration. If I’m writing a Christmas novella, I’ll light a balsam and cedar candle to help set the mood.
Interesting. Do you have a favorite time of day to write? What about a favorite place?
Yes! My favorite time of day to write is in the morning after my quiet time with God until around noon. My mind is most clear and active during these hours, and I get more accomplished. Unfortunately, I can’t utilize that time slot often, unless it’s a long break from school or summer break (I’m an elementary librarian), so I mostly write after work or on lunch breaks.
We do what we can, right? How long does it take you to write a book?
If I’m able to write consistently every day, a novella will take me about three to four months (that’s from first draft to critique partners, another polish, and then to the editor). A full-length novel will take me eight to ten months.
One last question before I let you go…can you tell us something about your newest release that is NOT in the blurb?
Several things in the novel were real-life experiences I had when I visited Maine in 2011. For example, there’s a scene where the hero takes the heroine to a shoreline off the beaten path to hunt for heart-shaped rocks. She’s so busy looking that she’s not paying attention to the fact high tide is beginning and large waves are heading her way, and she gets soaked in icy water. I’ll never forget how cold that water was.
There’s another scene where they stumble upon a group of seals sunbathing in a cove. This will always be one of my favorite memories from that trip.
I love those authentic moments that are breathed into the story!
Thanks again, Candice, for taking the time to share about your release and your process a little bit. I won’t keep my readers waiting any longer…I’ll let them dig into your fabulous cover and excerpt. But read on, there’s something fun at the end.
How to Stir a Baker’s Heart
Enjoy an Excerpt
Here is the first page of the novel:
For Olivia Hudson, starting over was like trying to bake an award-winning pie out
of olives and sauerkraut. No matter what ingredients she added to balance the flavors or how she arranged them, it wouldn’t work. Life was not a beach or a box of chocolates. Though chocolate did help.
The delectable, fudgy scent of her triple layer chocolate cake stirred Olivia’s senses as she stretched across the bakery counter and placed a fresh slice in front of her favorite customer. In the four months Olivia had lived in Stone Harbor, Maine, she’d formed an attachment to Arianne Anderson. The sugar-craving bridal boutique owner had an honest, down-to-earth personality Olivia found refreshing.
“Thanks.” Arianne lifted her fork as though it weighed a hundred pounds.
“Vanilla latte?” Olivia picked up a disposable cup and started the process, already knowing Arianne’s answer.
“With a shot of espresso.”
“Wow, someone’s had a rough day.”
Arianne stared at the thick brown frosting in a daze, sighed, and swallowed her first bite. Her eyelids fluttered closed, and her shoulders relaxed.
Olivia chuckled. All would be well in Arianne’s world now—at least until the plate was empty.
“It’s hot.” Olivia placed the latte in front of her friend then leaned her elbows on the counter and clasped her hands, her lower back grateful for the reprieve. “What’s got you down?”
Arianne’s dark blue eyes pooled with tears. She swallowed and tucked a strand of curly blonde hair behind her ear. “I….” Arianne glanced down at the cake. “I’m cheating on my husband.”
A tear dropped onto the granite countertop. Arianne swiped away the dampness on her cheeks and sighed. “Two evenings a week for the past three months, I’ve had things to catch up on at work,”—she made air quotes over the last word—“when really I’ve been driving twenty miles to escape my husband and indulge in the sinful ecstasy of your baking.”
The tight band around Olivia’s throat eased. “There isn’t another man?”
Arianne shook her head. “No. But the way I lust after this cake when I’m with Huck is adultery.”
Relief almost swept Olivia’s legs out from under her. She threw a wadded napkin at her friend, satisfied when it made contact with Arianne’s nose. “You scared me.”
More tears. Now that Arianne’s faucet was running, there was no turning it off.
Olivia checked the time on the tea-stained clock with a cupcake from an old Victorian postcard decoupaged to the face. Close enough. She locked the front door and flipped the sign to Closed. “What’s got you running?”
More About the Author
Candice Sue Patterson studied at the Institute of Children’s Literature and is an active member of American Christian Fiction Writers. She lives in Indiana with her husband and three sons in a restored farmhouse overtaken by books. When she’s not tending to her chickens, watching her kids play sports, or helping children discover a love for reading as an elementary librarian, she’s working on a new story. Candice writes Modern Vintage Romance—where the past and present collide with faith. She is represented by Linda S. Glaz of Hartline Literary Agency.
Connect with Candice and her books
Readers can always find me on Facebook at: https://m.facebook.com/Candice-Sue-Patterson-Author-420360958035447/
My website is also a great place to contact me: www.candicesuepatterson.com
I LOVE to hear from readers!
Candice is offering an ebook copy of her novel How to Charm a Beekeeper’s Heart to one winner, chosen by Rafflecopter. Please follow the directions on the Rafflecopter below to enter.a Rafflecopter giveaway