BLOG TOUR ~ How to Bake the Perfect Apple Pie ~ Q&A with Author

I am delighted to share with you today a Q&A with the author of How to Bake the Perfect Apple Pie; Gina Henning. 

Hi Dawn!
Thanks for having me on your lovely blog and for such a fun interview!

It's a pleasure to have you here Gina, Congratulations on your published novel/s; Being a published author must make you feel so excited? 

Thank you, it is really quite a thrill and also scary at the same time. But I would definitely use the word exciting. Yes, definitely.

Can you remember the moment that you discovered that you were going to be a published author? 

Yes, when I received the email from my editor at Carina UK, I almost couldn’t believe it. I printed it out for my husband to read as I couldn’t even get through the first few lines and needed him to verify I was not hallucinating. Ha!

What is your experience of being an author? 

I mainly write at night when everyone is asleep. My husband used to travel a lot for work so I had lots of alone time at night. Now, if I’m working on a deadline, then I take my boys outside to play or an indoor play area if the weather is bad and bring along my lap top so that I can write or edit while they are entertained. My husband has been supportive in that sometimes right before a major deadline he has taken the boys camping so that I could focus on my assignment all weekend long. Schatzi, my pooch and I use this time to really be the ladies of the house.

As someone who has written extremely short stories, I know how difficult I find the process of writing to be when you're trying to cram all your bursts of ideas in. How do you find the writing process? Are there any tips you have on writing a better novel? 

A little over a year ago I was more of a panster, with my writing style. I had an idea of how things would go in the story, but I would just write. Now, however I have changed my process and I outline the ARC of each chapter and use it as a guideline when I’m writing. This has really helped me to stay on task. Of course, the characters often do things that are unexpected, but that makes it even more fun. My tip (which isn’t mine but was given to me by Kathleen McGurl who has written a book with helpful writing tips) is that when I am writing I don’t stop and research anything but rather type DETAILS in the manuscript and keep going. Then later, when I’m editing I return and add in the necessary information.

Can you share with us a typical writing day for you? 

I put my boys to bed and pour myself a glass of wine or maybe tea. I like to write with music as it helps me to really get into the zone. Several of my books have Spotify playlists. I also like to Tweet out to a musician and thank them for their inspiration as I’m writing. If I’m working on a deadline then I bring along my lap top to a fun play area for my boys to play while I write or edit.

Where did your inspiration for writing come from? 

The beginning of my Home for the Holidays series was inspired by a pecan farm that I pass on the four hour long trip home to visit my mother. As the series came into fruition I knew the third book in the series would center on the Fourth of July, and the major holiday dessert is apple pie. My character Lauren is not exactly a culinary queen but she keeps getting tasked with baking desserts and this one happens to revolve around an Apple Pie contest. The Fourth of July is a big holiday in America where families get together for cookouts and there are plenty of parades and always end with a huge firework display.

What comes first when inspiration strikes; The characters, the plot, or the ending?

Ooh, good question. I would say it’s a mix of the character and plot for me. For the Home for the Holiday series I could see Lauren and her journey which began with a pecan pie.
I have another series that will be released next year that centers around Ice Cream and this series came to me also as I was driving home to visit my mother and I was looking at these barren country roads and listening to a new cd and the line “Say you’ll remember me standing in nice dress staring at the sunset” came across my speakers and the story unraveled in my mind and I jotted out the notes on my phone (my husband was driving).

Do other authors inspire you, if yes, who and why?

Oh yes, I love when I get so wrapped up in a story that I’m worried about the characters and what will happen next.

What was it like when you first submitted your manuscript?

I was a bucket of nerves that was filled with excitement, hope, and despair.

What is your biggest “Author Dream*?  

In a world where Gina Henning’s books become movies and she walks the red carpet-can you imagine that being said in the movie announcer voice? Yes, that would be my Author Dream come true. I’m a huge movie fan, in fact I met my husband while working at the movie theater in high school.

How do you celebrate Publication day? 

For my last two publication dates, I’ve met with my friends in the park. They are truly great friends and have surprised me with tasty goodies and bubbly to enjoy, while our children play.
My husband has created a tradition that he brings home a bottle of wine that goes along with the title of my book. For How to Bake the Perfect Pecan Pie it was “American Pie” and for How to Bake the Perfect Christmas Cake it was Red Velvet Cake, he also brought home a red velvet cheesecake for that release.
So we shall see what happens for apple pie, right? However, I plan on making an apple pie on publication date to celebrate with my boys.

What is it like to hold your paperback/ebook reader in your hand and see the words you wrote available for millions to read? 

Oh my goodness, it’s a bit of stage fright, I wrote a piece about this:

What was the last book you read, and what did you enjoy most about it? 

I just finished the final book in Kierney Scott’s The Firing the Line Series. I absolutely loved each book in the series. So many moments I was at the edge of my seat worrying about the outcome of the characters. I highly recommend.

What would your dreamiest book hero hunk be like? 

Oh goodness…I have so many book boyfriends. Ha, that probably doesn’t sound right. Let’s just say my palate is quite large. Wait, that doesn’t sound right either. Besides appearance, I love a confident maybe even a bit arrogant hero that is also quite clever, but has a sentimental heart.

What can we look forward to in your *new* book out later this year? 

The next segment is How to Bake the Perfect Wedding Cake, where readers will get to see if Lauren and Jack will have their HEA and say I do.

Are any of your characters based on you? Or someone you know?

What me? Noooo…well maybe a little bit. There are little sprinkles of people that have crossed my path that have shown up as characters in my books and then there are some characters that are completely made up.

Before we finish up, can you share where you love for the fictional pages first came from? Perhaps a memory from childhood?

I have always loved reading and the book that has stuck with me the most over the years was one I read in elementary school. Katherine by Anya Seton…is such a great book, I can’t recommend enough.

So what is How to Bake the Perfect Apple Pie all about? 

A scrumptious pie. A long distance guy. 4th of July fireworks guaranteed.
Lauren Hauser has it all…nearly. With a shiny new job and sparkly new engagement ring on her finger, the only thing she’s missing is her gorgeous new fiancĂ© by her side. Should she be worried? Jack’s kisses are as sizzling as always and, sure, long distance is hard but, she and Jack are solid, right?
Of course the stress of planning a wedding—or not—is nothing compared to the stress of baking an apple pie. Because it’s not just any apple pie that Lauren must bake for the 4th of July contest; it’s her grandmother’s famous, award-winning apple pie! Yet Lauren is determined to make this pie her own and a little apple pie should be no problem for the Hauser clan dessert queen…!
But with her new job taking up so much time, a prize pie to perfect and the growing distance between her and Jack, Lauren begins to wonder if she can really have it all… Only one things for sure, there’ll be fireworks this 4th of July!
Available Here:                                                                                                

Author Bio:
Gina Henning currently resides where bluebonnets line the highways in the spring, but she prefers the rock flower anemone from under the sea. Above the ocean's surface Gina likes to dance with her three boys and travel to exotic places like the grocery store with her husband. Her pooch Schatzi is a mix between German Shepherd and possibly pig. One of Gina's favorite pastimes is running. She recently completed her one-and-done marathon. At the end of the day her glass of wine is always half-full.


For your chance to win a prize please use the link below:  

Please be sure to stop by the other wonderful blogs taking part in the blog tour, and grab yourself a slice of apple pie xx

COVER REVEAL : Return to Bluebell Hill by Rebecca Pugh

I am so excited to be a part of the COVER REVEAL for a beautiful friend of mine; Rebecca Pugh who also blogs about books at Becca's Books. Yes, you read that right, a book blogger is about to celebrate her DEBUT novel with Carina UK and in her words; she's just a normal young lady from Telford who has written a book, and is on the brink of being a published author! Dreams can and DO come true!  I am so proud of you lady! 

She became one of my first ever book blogger friends, she welcomed me into the chick lit blogging world, and now, I can share with you the cover of her debut novel; Return to Bluebell Hill. 

Isn't the cover just utterly gorgeous? I can't wait to read this, and I just know that it's going to be brilliant, because if you've ever read Becca's blog (if not... well WHY NOT?!) you will know that she KNOWS her books, she KNOWS her plots, and she OOZES talent! 

So what is it all about? 

Return to Bluebell Hill

As sweet and satisfying as strawberries and cream! This British summertime, get out in the garden with Rebecca Pugh’s sparkling debut novel.

Home is where the heart is…

Jessica McAdams has never belonged anywhere; never truly felt at home. Of course, what did she expect from parents who never made her feel welcome in her own house? Leaving her life in London to return home to the charming country village of Bluebell Hill is harder than she thought. Especially as she never considered she’d be returning under such heart wrenching circumstances…

Clearing out the stunning and imposing Bluebell House after her parents’ death is difficult for Jessica—they never had the best relationship and now it’s too late. Yet spending time in the house that was never a home, having afternoon tea with dear old friend Esme—and sharing hot, sizzling kisses with delectable gardener Rueben!—opens Jessica’s eyes to the potential of Bluebell House… Could this big old, beautiful manor really be her forever home? Is Bluebell Hill where her heart is, has always been?

Jessica soon dares to dream of her very own home with delicious Rueben by her side. But when a deep, dark secret of Bluebell House is unearthed, Jessica’s world is turned upside down…

Will Jessica ever find where her heart truly lies?

An emotional tale of self-discovery, taking chances and romance! Rebecca’s unique British voice feels like coming home again and again.


So, Please go pre-order her book baby, and read it, devour it, love it to the moon and back, and then come and let us all know what you LOVE about it! 

Rebecca Pugh grew up in the green county of Shropshire, with a mind full of fairy-tales and happy endings. Enchanted by true love and Disney Princesses, she decided that no matter what life threw her way, she’d continue to see the world through a child’s eyes. Through the pages of countless books, her adoration of reading blossomed, and it didn’t take long for her to fall under the spell of hundreds of authors’ words.
Now, Rebecca’s own story has taken a fairy-tale like turn, and at 22, her dream has come true. With her faithful companions: Bonnie the dog, her partner, and her gigantic family by her side, Rebecca is ready to share her stories with readers who enjoy falling in love and losing themselves within beautiful, fictional worlds.
Rebecca Pugh is the author of women’s fiction and romance, her all-time favourite genres. After all, who doesn’t enjoy a good swoon?

Her debut novel, Return to Bluebell Hill, is due to be published June 18th 2015 by Carina UK.