Thursday, April 25, 2019

HOW TO STIR A BAKER'S HEART - Candice Sue Patterson - One Free Book

Welcome, Candice. Why do you write the kind of books you do?
My calling to write Christian Fiction came when I was around sixteen years old. That summer, I went through an entire shelf of Janette Oke books from my local library. I loved her characters and the lessons I learned from them. I loved that they were “clean,” and I didn’t have to worry about coming across bad language or inappropriate scenes. Though my desire to write books came long before I’d turned sixteen, I knew then that’s what I wanted to “grow up and write.”

In 2011, I was introduced to Denise Hunter’s and Colleen Coble’s books when my mother-in-law recommended them. Once again, I was struck anew at the deep characterization and engaging plots, while the content remained clean. From that point on, I had no doubt that Christian Fiction is what God wanted me to write.

Besides when you came to know the Lord, what is the happiest day in your life?
I’d say it’s a toss-up between the day I got married and the day each of my kids were born. They were all special days that started special journeys I’m blessed to be a part of.

How has being published changed your life?
Publication has been an amazing blessing in many ways. I’m grateful for the opportunity to live my dream, and it gives me a platform to be a witness I wouldn’t have had otherwise. I love connecting with readers and meeting new people. Writing is also therapeutic for me, so it helps me process things at times.

What are you reading right now?
I’m close to finishing The Love Letter by Rachel Hauck. Next on my list is With This Pledge by Tamera Alexander. I’m eagerly awaiting Sweet On You by Becky Wade, which should arrive sometime this month. I try to read a good balance of contemporary and historical. I rarely venture from the romance genre though.

What is your current work in progress?
My current work in progress is a new contemporary series set in South Dakota that revolves around a reality television show where eight women from the city compete in farm challenges in hopes of becoming the farmer’s wife. It’s best described as The Bachelor meets Survivor. There’s a lot of humor, which makes it fun, and plenty of conflict to keep it interesting. Of course, there’s romance. And a few twists to keep readers on their toes. This series has not been contracted yet and is looking for a good home.

I would feature them on my blog when they are published. What would be your dream vacation?
Stateside, my dream vacation would be spending a month in Maine, taking my time exploring, relaxing, and soaking up the atmosphere. Otherwise, I’ve always dreamed of seeing Ireland.

How do you choose your settings for each book?
I’m a detail-oriented writer, so for me the setting is like a main character. I want the reader to experience the setting, as if they’re actually there, so I’m always careful to add in sites, sounds, and “local flavor”. When it comes to choosing a setting, it’s half-and-half for me—sometimes I choose the setting first and create a story to fit into that world, and sometimes I choose a setting that fits into the characters’ needs.

If you could spend an evening with one person who is currently alive, who would it be and why?
This is a tough question. I’d like to spend an evening with Olivia de Havilland, Melanie from Gone With the Wind. I’d love to hear her stories about what happened on set and get her views on the world and how much it has changed in the 102 years she’s been alive.

What are your hobbies, besides writing and reading?
I enjoy hobby-farming. We have chickens that are so spoiled they follow me around the yard like dogs. A year ago, I dove into the world of beekeeping after extensive research for my novel How to Charm a Beekeeper’s Heart. I became so fascinated with honeybees I wanted a hive of my own. This summer will be our first opportunity to rob the honey, and I’m looking forward to that. I learned quickly, however, researching bees and having a live hive are two completely different things. We plan to add some more animals to our hobby-farming collection soon for pure enjoyment.

What is your most difficult writing obstacle, and how do you overcome it?
As strange as this sounds, I struggle the most with condensing an entire story to the bare bones when writing a synopsis and tagline. I took a class taught by Camy Tang a few years ago that helped a lot. Her book Story Sensei Synopsis Worksheet: Doctor Your Own Novel was included in the class. I refer to her method every time I write a synopsis now. It still takes awhile to get my brain in the mindset of stripping the story, but her method definitely helps me do that.

Writing synopses is my hardest part, too. What advice would you give to a beginning author?
Read as much as you can and learn as much as you can. Simply reading a novel and paying attention to story structure and characterization help to cement the process in your mind. Plus, it’s fun to see each author’s spin, even though they’re all following the same basic process. Read books on the craft of writing as well. There’s a ton of knowledge out there. Lastly, write. Unfortunately, times of discouragement and rejection are part of the process, but even Dr. Suess was rejected by twenty-seven publishers before he received a contract, so DON’T GIVE UP!

Tell us about the featured book.
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.

How to Stir a Baker’s Heart was inspired after a trip to Maine for our ten-year anniversary. This was my first attempt at writing a full-length novel. I worked on it for a couple of years and entered it into a few writing contests. It was an ACFW Genesis semi-finalist in 2013 (then titled Stone Hearts). When other publishing opportunities came along, I put it aside for several years. After How to Charm a Beekeeper’s Heart released in 2016, I decided to pull this story out and make it book two in the series. Both novels were written to be standalone, but readers of book one will get a glimpse old friends in How to Stir a Baker’s Heart.

Please give us the first page of the book.
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.”
Olivia straightened.

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?”

How can readers find you on the Internet?
Readers can always find me on Facebook at  Here is where I connect with followers, provide book and writing updates, share bits-and-pieces of farm life, promote other authors’ books, and post beekeeping videos.

Readers can also connect with me on my website at Here they can find a list of my books, promotional materials, and contact me via email.

I can also be found on Pinterest (Candice Sue Patterson), where I make pages for each book and pin the images that inspired me.

Goodreads is another great place to connect. No matter where they choose to find me, I LOVE chatting with readers.

Thank you for having me on your blog today.

It’s my pleasure, Candice. I’m eager to read this book.

Readers, here are links to the book.
How to Stir a Baker's Heart -
How to Stir a Baker's Heart - Amazon Paperback
How to Stir a Baker's Heart - Kindle

Leave a comment for a chance to win a free copy of the book. You must follow these instructions to be in the drawing. Please tell us where you live, at least the state or territory or country if outside North America. (Comments containing links may be subject to removal by blog owner.)

Void where prohibited; the odds of winning depend on the number of entrants. Entering the giveaway is considered a confirmation of eligibility on behalf of the enterer in accord with these rules and any pertaining local/federal/international laws.

The only notification you’ll receive is the winner post on this blog. So be sure to check back a week from Saturday to see if you won. You will have 4 weeks from the posting of the winners to claim your book.

If you’re reading this on Goodreads, Feedblitz, Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, or Amazon, please come to the blog to leave your comment if you want to be included in the drawing. Here’s a link:


Tammy G. said...

This looks a fantastic story!
Thanks, Tammy in Texas

Bernice Kennedy said...

Wow, after reading the 1st page I am hooked. You are a new author for me so going to be doing some research.

Bernice Kennedy said...

I forgot to mention I live in Edmond, OK. Thanks Bernice

Candice Sue Patterson said...

Thanks for stopping by Tammy!

Candice Sue Patterson said...

I'm so glad you enjoyed it, Bernice! I have a dear friend who's from Edmond, OK. Thanks for stopping by!

Candice Sue Patterson said...

Thanks again for hosting me today, Lena! It's always a pleasure to work with you.

Shelia64 said...

sounds like a great book! Shelia from Mississippi

Candice Sue Patterson said...

Hi, Shelia! Thanks for visiting.

Lourdes said...

Looks like a great read. Thanks for sharing.

Lourdes Long Island, NY

Candice Sue Patterson said...

Thanks for the Facebook follow, Lourdes! I look forward to chatting with you.

Linda Kish said...

This sounds like a wonderful story. I'd love to read it. Linda in CA

lkish77123 at gmail dot com

Candice Sue Patterson said...

Hi, Linda! Thanks for stopping by!

Melanie Backus said...

Sounds like a good one!
Melanie Backus, TX

Lana Schumann said...

This book sounds really good and that other series you mentioned too!
Lana Schumann from Lewisville, TX

Vivian Furbay said...

I would enjoy reading this to see if they can get the tow's economy improved. Vivian Furbay of CO

Candice Sue Patterson said...

Thank you, Melanie!

Candice Sue Patterson said...

Thank you, Lana!

Candice Sue Patterson said...

Thanks for visiting, Vivian!

Robin in NC said...

Triple chocolate cake & a sympathetic listener!! What a great friend!! :) Set in a coastal community... this story sounds wonderful. Thanks for sharing!

Robin in NC

Pamela S Thibodeaux said...

ALWAYS great to learn more about fellow PBG authors!
Good luck and God's blessings, Candice!
I'd love to win this book :-)
PamT from Iowa, LA (

Lucy Reynolds said...

Hello from rural WV. Thank you for sharing. You are a new author to me. Sounds good. Thank you for the chance. Blessings!

Kay Garrett said...

Thank you for the interview with Candice Sue Patterson and for telling me about "HOW TO STIR A BAKER'S HEART".

Love learning more about the author's and the interview method is a great way to do that. Candice's book sounds like a wonderful read. I'm especially drawn to it because my Mom suffered from Alzheimer so the fact that Olivia's grandmother has dementia hits a cord with me.

I would love the opportunity to read this book. I greatly appreciate the chance to win a copy.
Kay Garrett from Mountain View, AR
2clowns at arkansas dot net

Wendy Newcomb said...

This sounds great, thank you for the chance to win a copy.

Wendy in South Sioux City, NE

wfnren at aol dot com

Candice Sue Patterson said...

I’m with you, Robin, chocolate cake and a good friend are a great combination! Thanks for visiting today.

Candice Sue Patterson said...

Thanks for visiting, Pam! I appreciate the support.

Candice Sue Patterson said...

Hi, Lucy! Rural West Virginia is beautiful country. Thanks for stopping by.

Candice Sue Patterson said...

Hi, Kay! Alzheimer’s disease is close to my heart as well, as I had three grandparents who suffered from it. In fact, this book is dedicated to them. Thank you for visiting. Blessings!

Candice Sue Patterson said...

Hi Wendy! Thanks for visiting.

Anonymous said...

I love the story line and the Maine setting. My uncle had Alzheimer's and it was a hard journey. I enjoyed meeting Candice!
marypopmom (at) yahoo (dot) com
Maryann in New York

Library Lady said...

Thanks for introducing me to a new author.
Our Church Library readers are going to love this book.
Janet E.

Candice Sue Patterson said...

Hi, Maryann! You’re right, Alzheimer’s is a hard journey. Thank you for taking the time to visit!

Candice Sue Patterson said...

Thanks for stopping by, Janet!

Bernice Kennedy said...

What a small world. Do you ever visit Edmond. Thank you!

rubynreba said...

Stories on healing and forgiveness are always a favorite of mine. I sometimes struggle with forgiveness and reading about it helps!! Thanks for the great review. Love the cover!
Beth from Iowa

Vivian Furbay said...

Sounds a person who needs healing and peace. Vivian Furbay of CO

Sharon Bryant said...

Enter me in your awesome giveaway!!
Conway SC.