Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Sweet Caroline...

When the opportunity to join in the Blog Book Tour first came my way, you all know that I was quite excited, seeing as how I’m usually reading two or three books at once, the opportunity to read more books was quite enticing! And you know that the first three books I’ve reviewed here have all been fabulous, non-fiction books that I learned quite a bit from and enjoyed telling you about. But this time, I feel that I have returned to my first love….fiction! Ah yes, a good fiction book is even better than a favorite tv show, and ya’ll know how much I love tv! So, it is with great pleasure that I bring to you….



About the book:
Caroline Sweeney has always done the right thing--the responsible, dependable thing--unlike her mother who abandoned her family. But when her best friend challenges her to accept an exciting job adventure in Barcelona, Spain, Caroline says "yes" to destiny.
Then, without warning, ownership of the run-down cafe where she's been waitressing falls right into Caroline's lap. While she's trying to determine the cafe's future, handsome Deputy Sherriff J.D. Rand captures Caroline's heart.
But when her first love, Mitch O'Neal, comes back to town, fresh from the heat of his newly-found fame as a country music singer in Nashville, Caroline must make some hard choices about love and the pursuit of the sweet life.

The thing I loved most about this book was the cast of characters. Rachel Hauck has assembled a group of characters that are diverse, interesting, and highly entertaining. I fell in love with the staff of the Frogmore Café immediately, and when the book ended, I found myself wanting more. I didn’t want to let go of my new friends quite so soon, and I really wanted to know “what happened next”! To me, that’s always a sign of a good book…that it leaves me wanting to keep reading. I was so happy to receive from Rachel a flyer for a new book coming out in July that features some of the same characters as “Sweet Caroline”. Needless to say, I can hardly wait! And now, for the good stuff….
Contest: The Sweet Life contest! Enter to win a Scrumptious Baking Basket from Rachel. The basket contains a Super Cool Apron, a Low country cook book signed by PAT CONROY, rolling pin, and a pie plate! All you have to do to enter is sign up for Rachel's newsletter here: http://rachelhauck.com/newsletter.htm

**As an added bonus to Rachel’s giveaway, I’m going to give away my copy of “Sweet Caroline” as well to one of you! Anyone who enters to win the Baking Basket by signing up to receive Rachel’s newsletter is eligible to win my copy of “Sweet Caroline”. Just go enter the contest, then come back here and let me know in the comments that you are entered! That’s it…easy-peasy (as my Madeleine likes to say!) I’ll close comments next Tuesday evening and announce the winner next Wednesday.

In the meantime, you’ve gotta try these biscuits. They are on the menu every.single.day at the Frogmore Café and we made them for breakfast this morning….BIG HIT at our house! So, go sign up for Rachel’s newsletter, enter to win the book, bake yourself some of Bubba’s Buttery Biscuits and then head on over to http://www.rachelhauck.com/2008/05/welcome-to-sweet-life-blog-tour.html to check out the other stops on “The Sweet Life Blog Tour”, and get to know Rachel Hauck a little bit. I’m heading over there myself....let’s go hang out together!

Bubba's Buttery Biscuits!
3 cups self-rising flour 10 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch pieces and chilled, plus 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted for brushing the tops 1 1/4 cups buttermilk

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.

Place the flour and chilled butter in a medium mixing bowl. Work the butter into the flour with a pastry cutter, a fork, or your fingertips until the butter pieces are a little larger than an English pea, but not larger than a lima bean. If you are using your fingers, work quickly so that the heat of your hands won't melt the butter.
Pour in all of the buttermilk and, using light pressure, fold the mixture a few times with a plastic spatula until it holds together. Do not over mix. In order to make light biscuits, it is important to work the dough as little as possible.
Turn the dough out onto a floured board and knead it quickly and gently 6 to 10 times or until it begins to be almost homogenized. There will be large pieces of butter throughout. Sprinkle a little flour under the dough so that it won't stick to the board and lightly dust the top of the dough so that it won't stick to the board and lightly dust the top of the dough so that it won't stick to the rolling pin. Roll the dough out to about 1/2-inch thickness.
Cut the dough into 2-inch rounds, place on an ungreased baking sheet, and bake in the preheated oven for about 15 minutes. I like the biscuits to be crispy and brown on the top and bottom, but not dry in the middle. Remove the baking sheet from the oven and brush the tops of the biscuits with the melted butter. Serve right away. (recipe from Louis Osteen)

About Rachel:
I'm a forty-something, a child of the '60's, '70's, '80's, '90's and '00's.
I roller skated through the '70's into the '80's with Farrah Fawcet hair and a three-speed orange Camero.
Born in Ohio, I lived several years in Oklahoma and Kentucky before my parents moved the family to Florida.
I graduated from Ohio State University (Go Buckeyes!) with a degree in Journalism. As a member of Phi Mu sorority, I partied my way though the last few years of college.
But, the truth is, and always will be, I belong to Jesus. At the age of six, I knelt at the altar of a Tulsa Methodist church and gave my life to the One who loves me.
After graduation, hired on at Harris Publishing as a software trainer, determined to see the world. And I did it without a laptop, a cell phone, an IPod or portable DVD player. Those were hard times.
But, I traveled to Ireland, Spain, Venezuela, Mexico, Australia, Canada and the U.S. from California to Maine. But, life on the road is difficult. Working twelve to fourteen hour days, one doesn't get to see many of the sites. In Ireland, our company's distributor drove me around at night so I could see something of Dublin.
I met Tony, my husband, in '87, at church, of all places. We got married in '92. Tony has been a pastor for twenty years. I've worked with him in eighteen of those twenty. Our heart is to see teens and adults passionate, radical and whole hearted for Jesus.
Tony and I don't have any children of our own, lots of kids-in-the-Lord and we love them all. However, we do have a very spoiled dog, and an even more spoiled cat.
I've always wanted to be a writer. My dad used to tell me, "You're a writer." I have letters he wrote me post college, exhorting me to write. In this, I believe he had the heart of God.
In '93, I started an epic WW2 novel with two plots. It was well rejected. After that ordeal, I took a break and put efforts into my job as a software project manager. But, I missed writing and in late ' 99, I took up the craft again.
With a little help from my friends, my first book was published in ' 04, Lambert's Pride, a romance novel. I love writing chick lit and romance. I love writing. What an honor.

Links:

Rachel's website: www.rachelhauck.com

Buy the book here: http://www.amazon.com/Sweet-Caroline-Rachel-Hauck/dp/1595543376/ref=pd_bbs_sr_4?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1211388672&sr=8-4

Rachel's My Book Therapy ( a writing craft blog for writers): www.mybooktherapy.com

5 comments:

CrystalGB said...

I signed up for your newsletter. Thanks for the great recipe.

dolls123 said...

I signed up for the newsletter

dolls123[at]gmail[dot]com

Susan said...

I had already signed up for the newsletter, but I'm adding my comment here to have a chance to win a copy of "Sweet Caroline" from Rachel. Thanks!

email: writeagain04 (at) yahoo (dot) com

lyn21 said...

I signed up for the newsletter

Mocha with Linda said...

I signed up for the newsletter and I thought I had this book, but I just missed getting a copy. It sounds great!!