Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Love Finds You Immersed in Chocolate!

You guessed it! Today's guest is Cerella Sechrist, author of Love Finds You in Hershey, Pennsylvania! I have had the privilege of hosting Cerella here several times, and she is such a joy. I am thrilled to have her back again!

Cerella graciously agreed to answer my questions and offer an autographed, personalized copy of her book, so read on for some more party fun!

Amber: What, in your opinion, is the best part about writing a book for the “Love Finds You” series?

Cerella: I absolutely adore that the "Love Finds You" books are themed around small towns or uniquely named ones. It’s such a great grounding theme to build a variety of stories from! Plus, since this was my debut novel, I was more than thrilled to be joining such an established series with other authors I’ve admired for so many years. I was definitely blessed with that, and I’m always so proud to tell people about Summerside and "Love Finds You!"

Amber: Could you share a couple of fun facts you learned while doing research about the place where your “Love Finds You” book is set?

Cerella: I grew up less than an hour from my book’s setting of Hershey, and I’d been there several times throughout my life. But it was fun to start exploring it from a character’s perspective, especially one like Sadie.

An interesting bit of trivia –
Milton Hershey’s life has an interesting history with his journey from a candy apprentice to chocolate magnate. One fun fact I picked up was that Hershey and his wife, Catherine, were slated to sail on the fated RMS Titanic’s maiden voyage on their return from a trip to Europe in 1912. Fortunately for them, his wife fell ill, and they were forced to cancel the trip and remain in Europe a little while longer for her to recuperate. Unfortunately, his wife eventually succumbed to the illnesses that plagued her, and she died while she was still relatively young. He never remarried, which is rather romantic.

Amber: How interesting and romantic/tragic! Thank you for sharing!

If you were planning a party in the town where your book is set, what would it be like? Please describe some of the details of the party planning, such as the guest list, catering, decorations, etc.

Cerella: Well, since this is my fantasy party, I think we’d have to break it down into TWO parties.

The first one would be held at the Hershey Theatre, which is extremely elegant and stunning in its replication of European architecture (Dmitri and Sadie attend a movie there in the book.) The theatre is also a venue for weddings, and it’s unbelievably beautiful. So we could have a fancy party there first with an entirely chocolate-themed menu (because we ARE in Hershey, after all.) I’d fly in the Top Chef: Just Desserts competitors to create the food, and I’d demand that everything from appetizers to entrees be themed with chocolate.

And since this first party would be fancier, why not take it over the top and dress up? I’d suggest themed “costumes” in the style of the Titanic-era since, after all, Hershey and his wife very nearly sailed with that ship. The Hershey Theatre atmosphere fits right in with that setting so it’s perfect!

After we finished our Titanic-chocolate party, we’d move on to the Hershey Story Museum and crowd into CafĂ© Zooka so we could sample the Origins of Chocolate tasting (which is a set of six chocolate beverages from different countries – it’s like wine tasting with chocolate!) And then we’d commence with a “make your own dessert” party, decorating cupcakes and ice cream sundaes with some of the Hershey company’s best known candies: Hershey’s Kisses, Reese’s Pieces, Jolly Ranchers, Good ‘n Plenty, York Peppermint Patties, Twizzlers, Kit Kat, Almond Joy and Mounds.

And Amber, because I know how much you love a good chocolate-covered strawberry, I figure we’ll throw some of those in, too, for everyone to decorate and eat. =D

Amber: Cerella, could you please, please, please have this party? That sounds absolutely delightful!!! You described it so well, too--it was easy to picture it all! Definitely the mark of a writer. =)

BTW, thank you for thinking of me with the chocolate-covered strawberries! ;)

Do you have any thoughts on love and humility in genera
l that you would like to share with us?

Cerella: I love when the two go hand-in-hand! I think that’s part of the world’s continued love for Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice – that Darcy learned humility, all out of a growing love for Elizabeth. After all, Thomas Moore said it best when he remarked, “Humility, that low, sweet root, from which all heavenly virtues shoot.”

Thanks for allowing me to celebrate on "Seasons of Humility," and here’s hoping Love Finds You all year round! =)

Amber: Thank you so much for joining us today, Cerella! It's always a treat to host you, and your responses are fabulous!

Readers, what is a party without dancing? Picture us at that gorgeous Titanic-chocolate-themed party Cerella planned, dressed in all our gorgeous costumes and dancing the night away!

Here's my dad, me, and my sister at the Jazz Festival in our home county last spring:

So much fun! Dancing has been such a gift in my life--from dancing with my daddy, to dancing at Prom, to just having a dance party by myself in my room! Love it!

Want to join me? Click HERE to listen to a great dancing song all about love finding you (and how you know if it has!). Feel free to dance along!

If you want a quick break from all the excitement, leave a comment below with your valid e-mail address for a chance to win an autographed, personalized copy of Love Finds You in Hershey, Pennsylvania! (This drawing is for U.S. residents only.)

And while we're at it, let us know your favorite Hershey product (your candy of choice to put on top of those cupcakes and sundaes Cerella was talking about), and you can get 2 extra entries in today's drawing!

Let's dance!


Tales of Whimsy said...

Oooo I have been wanting to read this for like ever and ever :)

Great interview :)

My favorite Hershey product: Almond Joy :)

Please count me in suitejuju(AT)gmail(DOT)com

Project Journal said...

Sorry I haven't gotten around to commenting yet (or emailing you back *bad Hannah*). This is a hopping party!! I feel like we're two passing ships in the dark these days because you're planning your party, I'm planning mine....geez...soon we'll have to sit down for some hot coco and chat or something *wink* Catch each other up on life!

Anyway, ohhhhhh I just love Titanic stories, so thanks so much Cerella for including that. I don't think we've officially met,yet, but I'll have you know that Amber raves about you all the time! Lol...my family and I stopped in Hershey a couple years ago on the way to the convention (we were driving). It was SO fun! I love how you can actually smell the chocolate all over the town. Very cool. We stayed until Hershey park closed due to weather! It was thundering, lightening, pouring is an understatement. We were under the covering for one of the wooden rollercoaster and then we thought the rain had "laid off". Well we weren't even halfway to the car when it started pounding us! Our clothes, shoes, everything was SOAKED through. We grabbed Wendy's in the drive-through (open 24/7 yay!) and then went back to the hotel to dry out. It was crazy....but fun : )

Okay I hate to leave so ubruptly, I'll be back but I've gotta head upstairs to class. New blog post is getting posted after class, Amber. Sorry I'm late!!
Talk to you soon,

Bluerose said...

I SOOOOOO want to read this book! Of all the Love Finds You books, this one is #1 on my "want to read" list. :) I haven't heard a single bad thing about it!

My favorite Hershey's product is Kit Kats. That could change at any time, but that one's been my favorite for several months now. :) Of course, I love chocolate, so they're all pretty close.

bluerosesheart at yahoo dot com

Julia M. Reffner said...

Oh, what a fun party! Yum! My favorite Hershey's product is Hershey's dark chocolate chips, because I'm partial to cookies :)

Cerella, your answers are always so much fun!

I love the Thomas Moore quote you shared. I think it was in a Jerry Bridges book where he shared that humility is at the beginning of all fruit-bearing. I can't remember the exact quote, but great food for thought.


The Insouciant Sophisticate said...

I also grew up less than an hour from Hershey, meaning I got to go to Hershey Park quite a bit!

My favorite Hershey product is the dark chocolate bar but the perfect topping for my sundae is Hershey chocolate syrup.

bookworm1858 AT hotmail DOT com

Ariel Wilson said...

Yummy book :)

I love Reeses cups :D


MaureenT said...

I've been wanting to read this book. Yummy Chocolate ...my favorite!

There are soooooo many I like, baking maybe Kisses!


Casey said...

Oh, oh, oh, I LOOOOOOVED THIS BOOK! I want to make my five extra points here if I may. THIS is the one I have been DYING to win for like... forever! Well, ever since I borrowed it from the library and loved it to pieces. :D (My mom did too!)

Great, fun interview! Loved it and Cerella, can't wait until your next book. :D

My favorite Hershey candy? I don't eat a lot of candy, but are Skor bars Hershey? That is my favorite candy of ALL TIME. Other than that it would probably be Snickers. Anything milk chocolate with carmel. :) But like I said, I don't eat much of it, so I can't really say which is Hershey and which isn't. :)

Thanks Amber for having Cerella here!! :)

Renee (BlacknGoldGirlsBookSpot) said...

Cerella's awesome even though she rubs it in that she was TWO ROWS BACK from Michael Buble! :-P LOL I love to tease!

Anywho I already have this lovely book so I don't need to be entered but I'll say that my fave candy is the Peppermint Patty...get the sensation!

XOXO~ Renee

Emma said...

Great interview.My favorite Hershey candy is the chocolate bar.Thanks for the wonderful giveaway.augustlily06(at)aim(dot)com.

Kav said...

Oh my gosh, I just discovered Hersey Kisses with bits of cookie in them. Yummm...like a candy Oreo. And I love making chocolate thumbprint cookies -- the kind where you add a chocolate kiss to the cookie while it's still hot. The kiss melts a bit and then hardens but when you bite into it it's pure liquid chocolate -- what an explosion of flavour! Oh -- where was I going with this? LOL. I don't remember I'm in a chocolate daze!

Amber Holcomb said...

Gotta love chocolate! :D

JUJU: This is a fabulous book! So glad you liked the interview--isn't Cerella great?!

You have 3 entries in today's drawing. :)

HANNAH: Thank you so much for stopping by! Don't worry about anything--I know you've been keeping busy! :) Great analogy ("two passing ships in the dark")! ;) We definitely need to catch up soon when we both have a chance, sip some hot chocolate and talk for a while. :)

That sounds like you had a memorable experience in Hershey! ;) Thanks for sharing about your experience! You have 1 entry so far in today's drawing. Talk to you soon and have a wonderful day!

BLUEROSE: This one definitely has to be on your "must-read" list--it's soooo good, and I know you'll love it! :D

I love chocolate, as well, and Kit Kats are yummy! You have 3 entries in today's drawing. :)

JULIA: Thank you! Cookies are great, especially ones with chocolate! ;)

I loved Cerella's responses, as well, and that quote is wonderful. Humility is so important, and something I definitely have to keep working on. :)

You have 3 entries in today's drawing!

BOOKWORM: How fun! Hershey Park sounds like THE place to visit! :D

My mom loves dark chocolate, and I've developed a bit of a taste for it now (although I'm still kind of partial to milk chocolate). ;) You have 3 entries in today's drawing!

ARIEL: For sure! And I just LOVE peanut butter and chocolate. :) You have 3 entries in today's drawing!

MAUREEN: I know, right? Isn't chocolate everyone's favorite? Gotta love Kisses! ;)

You have 3 entries in today's drawing!

CASEY: Hahaha, LOVE your enthusiasm! This is a WONDERFUL book, for sure! You can use your extra 5 points here, and if you want to you can use your 3 extra points from Sunday here, as well. :)

*Runs and hides from the other frustrated entrants in the drawing.*


Let me know! And I'm with you--I can't wait for Cerella's next book!

RENEE: I saw that post--how awesome is that?! :D Love that Michael Buble gave her "the finger." (Readers, read Cerella's blog to get what I mean--it's not bad, I promise!) ;)

Thanks for stopping by, and yay for Peppermint Patties!

EMMA: Thank you! Chocolate's good enough to be on it's own, right? :)

You have 3 entries in today's drawing!

KAV: Those sound really good!!! And I love those thumbprint cookies, as well! You describe it so well, you're making me REALLY want some... ;) Your comment is so fun, I think we're all in a chocolate daze!

Thanks for stopping by!


Giveaway Lady said...

I would love o be entered in this giveaway!! My favorite chocolate would be peanut butter cups or chocolate w/mint. What better can you get than mint and chocolate:) Thanks so much for the chance at winning this!


Renee Ann said...

I want to get in on this giveaway before it's too late because this book sounds so charming! My favorite Hershey product is a little delicacy I just discovered: a white chocolate Kit Kat. It's to die for! . . . Great interview, Amber. Love the family pics you share! Blessings!

reneeasmith61 [at] yahoo [dot] com

Amber Holcomb said...

CHARITY: Chocolate and peanut butter, and chocolate and mint...YUM! :D Thanks for stopping by, and you have 3 entries in today's drawing. :)

RENEE ANN: It is definitely a charming book, and I think you would LOVE it! I've seen those white chocolate Kit Kats--glad to hear they're good! :D

Thank you for your kind words! I'm glad you enjoyed the interview and that you like the family pictures. :) I enjoy sharing them--I just love my family!

You have 3 entries in today's drawing!


Diane said...

I love all chocolate and this book sounds delicious!!! I would melt Hershey's dark chocolate to drizzle over the top because can you ever really have enough???

estrella8888 at roadrunner dot com

Casey said...

Yes, yes and yes! I'll hide with you. :P

Casey said...

Hopefully holding Cerella's book. Hehe. :)

Amber Holcomb said...

DIANE: I am so with you there! ;) As to your question about if we can every really have enough chocolate--I think not!!! ;)

Thanks for stopping by, and you have 3 entries in today's drawing!

CASEY: Sounds good! ;) I suggest we hide behind a REALLY BIG fortress...with LOTS of chocolate, of course! ;)


Katie Marie said...

Oh, I'd love a signed copy of this book!

Favroite Hershey? Reeses!! :-D

- Katie

Amber Holcomb said...

KATIE: This is a great book! :D And yay for Reeses--they're delicious!

You have 3 entries in today's drawing. :)


Lady DragonKeeper said...

=) I wanted to become a chocolatier/pastry chef when I was in middle school ... it was around the time Food Network started showing those pastry competitions and such. I still love watching them, so I like the book blurb for this title. Thanks for the chance to win!

+2 I love the cookies 'n cream Hershey's chocolate --it's my favorite and I think it'd probably taste great on a cupcake ...Mmmm


Joy Tamsin David said...

Hi Cerella and Amber!

What a great interview!!!

I wish I had this book when I visited Hershey Park last year for spring break. I'm a little bit of a dork, but whenever I go on vacation, I like to have a book with me that's set in my destination.

Hmm, maybe I should plan another trip. LOL.

My favorite Hershey product is Reeses Peanut Butter Cups.

Joy G Lee G @aol. com

Julie Lessman said...

Hey Cerella and Amber -- fun interview!! Would LOVE to win the book, and if I do, I'll read it while munching on my favorite Hershey product (or favorite chocolate product, period!!) -- a plain, ol' Hershey Bar -- LOVE 'EM!!!


Amanda Stanley said...

Oh, the cover of this one is so very pretty! Great interview ladies and Cerella, it’s nice to meet you :) Thanks for sharing that great Thomas Moore quote, too!

For me, I’m torn between a Reese’s and a Kit Kat! But, I do love peanut butter, so maybe it is a Reese’s... My mom actually made these delicious Peanut Butter Blossom cookies last night and we put a mini Reese cup in each one. Just make a standard peanut butter cookie recipe (we used the Betty Crocker packaged one) loosely formed them in mini muffin tins and baked following the directions. When they came out we let them cool slightly and stuck a mini Reese cup in each :D Amber, I took a pic of these yummy little cuties and I’ll email it to you!

I would love a chance to read this book! It certainly seems to be a favorite :) Thank you Cerella and Amber for giving us a chance!!

Blessings to you both!
Amanda Stanley

PS- Amber, you look so cute dancing with your daddy and your sister :D

Amber Holcomb said...

LADY DRAGON KEEPER: Oh, I just LOVE Food Network! And those pastry shows, like the cake competitions...? Amazing! :D

I think you would love this book! It's wonderful!

And I love that Hershey's Cookies 'n Cream bar, as well. Nice idea about the cupcake topping--I like the way you think! ;)

You have 3 entries in this day's drawing. :)

JOY: Thank you! I love Cerella's responses! :D

And that would be so fun to have this book with you when you're traveling to Hershey. You should definitely plan another trip...and take me with you! ;)

Gotta love Reeses! You have 3 entries in this day's drawing. :)

JULIE: Thank you! It's always fun doing interviews with Cerella--she is so sweet!

You just HAVE to read this book, Julie--you'd love it! :D And sometimes chocolate needs nothing added to it to make it better, right? ;)

You have 3 entries in this day's drawing! So glad you could stop by!

AMANDA: Isn't it lovely? The cover is even better in person. :) So glad you enjoyed the interview!

And I so, so wish I could join you and eat some of those cookies!!! I love Reeses, as well, and that picture you sent...?! OH. MY. GOODNESS!!! ;)

Thank you for your kind words about the interview and my picture. :) You have 3 entries in this drawing!


apple blossom said...

Chocolate is a woman's best friend. This book sounds oh so yummy! thanks for a chance to win

ABreading4fun [at] gmail [dot] com

apple blossom said...

If it's chocolate I love it, however, Almond Joys have nuts and I love them
entry #1

ABreading4fun [at] gmail [dot] com

apple blossom said...

If it's chocolate I love it, however, Almond Joys have nuts and I love them
entry #2

ABreading4fun [at] gmail [dot] com

Cerella Sechrist said...

Every single one of these delightful comments made my day! Thanks, Everyone, for sharing your favorite Hershey's candy (and giving me a chocolate craving!) as well as all the awesome sweetness about the book. You all ROCK. :)


Amber Holcomb said...

APPLE BLOSSOM: Chocolate is indeed a woman's best friend! ;) And this book is indeed yummy--I highly recommend it!

You have 3 entries in this drawing. :)

CERELLA: Thank you so much for doing the interview and giveaway! Your book is so sweet, and you as a person are even sweeter. :D

And I know, right? We're all going to be craving chocolate for weeks now... Good thing 'tis the season for sweets! ;)


Anonymous said...

Thanks for the chance to win! I'm such a huge chocoholic I even crave books about chocolate!

My favorite Hershey candy bar is Fast Break!
It tastes amazing!


Amber Holcomb said...

ELLIE: I'm a huge chocoholic, as well, so I know what you mean! ;) This is a fantastic book!

What exactly does a Fast Break have in it? It's got a great name. ;)

You have 3 entries in this drawing!


Edna said...

I would love to win this one,


Edna said...

I like Hersey kisses with almonds, there are so good


Amber Holcomb said...

EDNA: Sorry I'm so late to respond, but don't worry--you're still in the drawing! :) Hershey kisses are always good, and just the right size for snacking. ;)

You have 3 entries in this drawing!


Amber Holcomb said...

CASEY: I was just doing bookkeeping as I'm getting ready to draw names, and I realized that you have 4 unused entries from Sunday, not 3--which means you have 12 entries in this drawing (3 + 5 + 4)!!!

I'll be drawing the winner soon, so good luck! :)