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 Café 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 general 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!