Today's Friday Freebie guest shares several of those descriptors. We shared the same agent for a time, which is how I met her at a book signing (hers). We live fairly close to one another, yet "talk" mostly online. And we share a Starbucks connection: I frequently work at my laptop on one side of the counter, while Cerella is a barista on the other side of the counter...in a different store. She and I are both hoping that she's coming to "my" Starbucks soon.
Cerella agreed to answer my crazy number questions for this Friday Freebie feature. So, without further ado, I present Cerella Sechrist, author of Love Finds You in Hershey, Pennsylvania and, most recently, Gentle Persuasion.
5 books Cerella loves:
1. Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen (the ultimate in classic romance!)
2. Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll (I have fond Alice memories from my childhood)
3. 'Til We Have Faces by C. S. Lewis (one of Lewis's lesser-known works, his take on the story of Cupid and Psyche is one of my faves).
4. The Hunger Games trilogy by Suzanne Collins (I consider Katniss's story to be one of the best modern dystopian stories out there).
5. Mark of the Lion trilogy by Francine Rivers (It deepened my faith and gave me a new appreciation for Christian history).
4 reasons to read her book:
1. We've had several snowstorms in the past week here in southern Pennsylvania, and the thought of Gentle Persuasion's Hawaiian setting is the perfect antidote for winter blues!
2. Being a major coffee addict and Starbucks barista, I love the coffee elements in the story -- writing it made me want to retire to the Kona Coast of Hawaii and open my own inn and coffee plantation like my hero, Dane.
3. The relationship between my heroine, Ophelia, and her mother, Lillian, is a bittersweet thing, and their dynamic was a lot of fun to
write. I especially loved one of their scenes near the end of the book.
4. Well, thanks to the foodie in me, I really loved researching and
reminiscing about Hawaiian foods, especially for the luau scene that
takes place in the story!
3 foods she loves:
It would be easier to list all the foods I don't love! ;) I'll give it a try, though...
1. Roasted veggies from my grandfather's garden. At 88 years of age, he's still a prolific gardener, and I love that he generously shares all his summer produce with me.
2. Reese's Peanut Butter Cups. I have a friend who says it's better to buy them in Christmas tree or pumpkin shapes since there's a greater peanut butter to chocolate ratio. It makes no difference to me -- peanut butter + chocolate is a match made in Heaven!
3. Anything with coconut. Which is another reason why I love my book's tropical setting.
2 of her favorite things:
My pugs, Darcy and Charlotte.
I don't really own them -- they own me! I tend to post too many pictures of them on Instagram.
1 thing she's working on now:
I'm gearing up to do a blog tour to promote The Paris Connection, which releases on March 1! The Paris Connection sort of follows Gentle Persuasion by telling Cole's story. (You'll meet Cole in Gentle Persuasion). When my editor mentioned how charming Cole was, even though h wasn't the hero, and asked me to tell his story, I was thrilled! Switching from the Hawaii setting to Paris helped mix things up, and it was nice to get to follow through and see what happened to Cole. Look for his story in March!
For more on Cerella and her work, visit her website and check out her blog, "Literary Fare" Fiction & Food," a blog for readers. Need an enticement to visit? She's running a contest through the end of December, with prizes that are guaranteed to chase away the winter blues.
And in case you were wondering -- yes, her pugs were named after Jane Austen literary characters.