Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Susanne Dietz | Author Chat + Giveaway

I had the blessing to meet this sweet woman years ago when we ended up living close-ish to one another and were going to the ACFW Conferece on the same flight! I'm so happy to host her here to talk about books--especially hers!
Susanne Dietze began writing love stories in high school, casting her friends in the starring roles. Today, she's the award-winning author of over a dozen historical romances who's seen her work on the ECPA and Publisher's Weekly Bestseller Lists for Inspirational Fiction. Married to a pastor and the mom of two, Susanne lives in California and enjoys fancy-schmancy tea parties, genealogy, the beach, and curling up on the couch with a costume drama and a plate of nachos.

Let's get real...

How many words do you write a day?
It’s different every day, but on a good day, I usually have a goal of 2000. I am not a fast writer, and 2K words takes me a long time. The most I ever wrote in a day was 5500 and it was not an easy day!

Share about a failed meal you’ve made.
I’ve failed many (including a supposedly easy Pampered Chef recipe I was making to try to impress my husband’s boss) but my cobbler is the one I get teased about most. As newlyweds, my husband and I were at a farmer’s market, and lo and behold that spring day, I saw a sign for rhubarb. I thought, “Mmm! Rhubarb cobbler!” and hurried right over to the lady selling it. Now, at this point in my life I’d never cooked rhubarb, but I knew it looked a little like red celery. This rhubarb at the farmer’s market was very deep red, with deep green leaves attached—but the stalks looked ribbed, like I remembered rhubarb looking. Nevertheless, I asked the lady, “This is rhubarb?” She nodded, and I realized she didn’t speak English. But the sign said “rhubarb” so I went ahead and bought it.

I came home, cleaned it, removed the leaves, and opened my Betty Crocker cookbook to “choose a fruit cobbler.” I chopped the rhubarb and added it to a saucepan with the sugar, etc. But it didn’t smell right. It smelled earthy. Like a vegetable. Like a beet, maybe.

It was not rhubarb. I was stewing some beet stalks or who knows. In any event, we had ice cream for dessert, and the mystery stalk went into the trash.

What is your favorite mode of transportation: plane, train, or car?
I love taking the train. In college, I used to take the train, and it was fantastic. There was a dining car on that line, and I’d get lunch and be seated at a table with three strangers. It was always a lot of fun. Someday, I’d love to ride on the Orient Express!

Share one pet peeve you have.
Many of my pet peeves have to do with people’s driving. It’s illegal to text and drive in my state, but nevertheless I’ve almost been hit head on twice by people who were texting and driving.

Coffee or tea?
I like both and have long enjoyed both, but I’ve cut way back on coffee over the past several years. And truly, there is nothing like a pot of loose-leaf tea. I drink a few cups of tea per day; one with caffeine, and the rest are herbal blends. My favorite loose leaf tea in the world is from Bingley Teas’ Jane Austen line, Sweet Jane. It’s named for Jane from Pride and Prejudice, and it’s a blend of black and green tea with vanilla. Yum.

Cats or dogs or both?
I have always liked dogs, but kept my distance from cats because my mom has feline allergies. However, this past autumn my friend who shelters pregnant rescue cats told me she had a cat who she thought was meant for us. I never thought I’d have a cat, but my friend was right. We fell in love with her, named her Ruby, and worked it out so she and Mom don’t occupy the same spaces.

Favorite dessert?
I’m sure you expect me to say rhubarb cobbler, but I love cream puffs, berry pies (not blueberry for some reason, but blackberry, razzleberry, ollalaberry) and chocolate ganache torte.

What's one chore you hate doing?
Cooking is fun; cleaning up is not. I hate doing dishes. Doing dishes after the water has gone cold is even worse. I’d rather fold laundry than do dishes any time.

Connect with Suzanne...
Twitter: @SusanneDietze

A Mother For His Family
By Susanne Dietz

Lady Helena Stanhope’s reputation is in tatters…and she’s lost any hope for a “respectable” ton marriage. An arranged union is the only solution. But once Helena weds formidable Scottish widower John Gordon, Lord Ardoch, and encounters his four mischievous children, she’s determined to help her new, ever-surprising family. Even if she’s sure love is too much to ask for.

All John needs is someone to mother his admittedly unruly brood. He never imagined that beautiful Lady Helena would be a woman of irresistible spirit, caring and warmth. Or that facing down their pasts would give them so much in common. Now, as danger threatens, John will do whatever it takes to convince Helena their future together—and his love—are for always.

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