Blogaversary Celebration Day Three: Cerella D. Sechrist, Author of Love Finds You in Hershey, Pennsylvania

This year I had the opportunity to meet new author and fellow Pennsylvania girl, Cerella D. Sechrist and read her book Love Finds You in Hershey, Pennsylvania. She's sweeter than chocolate and it's safe to say that this lady is going to have a successful writing career! I'm so excited to have her on my blog again to help celebrate my blogaversary!

My Review of Love Finds You in Hershey, Pennsylvania

Here's Cerella!

7 Reasons Sadie Spencer Has All the Luck

Being that today is St. Patrick’s Day, my thoughts have turned to things green and Irish and filled with good fortune. In celebrating Renee’s blogaversary, I decided to highlight the seven reasons why I think Sadie Spencer, my heroine in Love Finds You in Hershey, Pennsylvania, is a lucky woman.

Even though Sadie has experienced some tragedies in her twenty-nine years (and struggles with her ineptitude at desserts – which IS rather embarrassing for a chef), I still think she’s blessed. Here’s why –

1. Jasper Reeves is her best friend.
He’s faithful, sweet, patient and good-looking. What more can you ask for in a friend you’ve known since childhood?

2. Her five-year-old daughter, Kylie, is a pistol.
And she makes me laugh. Whether its bathroom adventures or Barbie-doll mayhem (or the time she tried driving!), Kylie is a daughter to keep a mom on her toes.

3. It’s not so bad to have a good-looking Russian adversary.
Dmitri Velichko is a man of mystery, and even Sadie isn’t sure whether he’s friend or foe. Still, there’s something appealing about a tall, dark, and handsome man with a secret, isn’t there?

4. She can’t bake desserts, but she can still cook.
Sure, the dessert thing is an issue (and one that really bugs her), but whipping up salivating entrees is still a great skill to possess. For more recipes on the subject, visit the Recipes page for the book at my website: www.cerelladsechrist.com/books/lfyhershey/recipes/

5. She lives in Hershey: a town of chocolate.
Need I say more?

6. She has some wise people in her life to guide her.
Such as Belva, the mother of her deceased husband. Belva reminds me of a charming Southern woman who was a part of my own life growing up – the type of person who isn’t afraid to tell you about your mistakes while loving you without condition. Those people are rare blessings.

7. She gets a happy ending.
But I don’t want to give anything away here so you’ll just have to read Love Finds You in Hershey, PA, for yourself. =)

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Excerpt from Love Finds You in Hershey, Pennsylvania:

When it came time to return Matilda to the nursing home, Sadie and Kylie helped the old woman to her room as Jasper lingered at the nurses’ station to speak to someone in charge about Matilda’s denture collection.

While Jasper was occupied, Sadie pulled forth a decorative tin filled with cookies, which she had carried in with her from the car.

“Aunt Matilda, I brought you a little special something.”

Matilda tugged an orange-and-brown afghan around her shriv­eled thighs and eyed Sadie warily. Clearly, her assessment of Sadie’s character had not been entirely reformed just yet.

“Mommy, Kylie doesn’t think that’s a good idea,” the five-year-old girl piped up, eyeing the tin with a similar expression of wariness.

Sadie glanced at her daughter. “Why not?”

Kylie just sighed in a way that made Sadie narrow her eyes at this seemingly long-suffering forbearance.

Ignoring this reaction, she turned her attention back to Matilda. “I made them myself,” she assured the elderly lady. Removing the tin lid, she waved the container back and forth beneath Matilda’s nose.

“They’re chocolate chip–walnut.”

“Ohhh.” Kylie’s little hands covered her face.

Sadie felt a prick of irritation at that. “Come on. Try one.” This was a new recipe, and Sadie felt absolutely confident that, this time, her dessert-making efforts had been a success.

She’d been practicing.

Removing a walnut-encrusted disk from the tin, she waved it under Matilda’s nose.
Matilda sneezed. “Smells like cat litter,” she declared.

A few stray crumbs floated onto the afghan. Matilda stared at them. “Looks like cat litter.”

Kylie giggled, and Sadie threw her a look. The expression on Sadie’s face instantly silenced her.

Sadie’s teeth clenched tighter than a vise, and she forced through them the suggestion, “Why—don’t—you—just—try—one?”

Matilda may have been old. And she may have been senile. But she was certainly not stupid. “Do I look like your guinea pig, young lady?”

Sadie pursed her lips. “Eat it.”

“No.”

“You’ll like it.”

Matilda crossed her arms. “Why don’t you eat it?”

Sadie’s hand, hanging in midair, drooped slightly. “You want me to eat it?”

Matilda nodded.

Sadie swallowed.

“Well, I—I suppose I could… . ” She lifted the crumbly cookie to­ward her face.

Kylie’s eyes grew round. Sadie licked her lips, and Matilda’s eyes narrowed to thin slits.

With a little breath, Sadie stuffed a bite of the cookie into her mouth and chewed vigorously.

“Mmmm! Dell-esh-us!” she muttered around the dry mounds. Cardboard cutouts tasted more appetizing. But it had to be just her. She could whip up bisques to souffl├ęs, appetizers to entrees…surely her desserts were not so bad.

She grinned confidently and extended the remains of the cookie. Kylie’s eyes darted rapidly back and forth between the two women.

Matilda’s head cocked.

She’s buying it… .

The old woman leaned forward and opened her mouth, the clean line of her dentures standing at arms. Taking no chances, Sadie immediately stuffed the rest of the cookie into Matilda’s mouth and waited breathlessly.

The wrinkled jaws chewed seemingly involuntarily. Chew, chew, chew…a few attempts to swallow…no swallowing…

Matilda opened her mouth and attempted to gasp but managed only a raspy, sucking sound. Her bleached blue eyes widened and filled with liquid, but no sound escaped her lips except that constant rasp.

Sadie grew alarmed as Matilda’s bony fingers reached for her throat. Kylie scurried over.

“Mommy! She’s choking!”

Matilda’s vein-thickened hands clutched at her neck.

“Matilda?”

Only the sucking sound in reply.

“Mommy! She’s blue!”

Copyright 2010, Cerella D. Sechrist, Summerside Press

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Trust me, though. Sadie Spencer is a lucky girl. And to keep things ‘sweet’, I’m including a St. Patrick’s Day-themed cake recipe here that’s so easy…even Sadie could do it. (Someone should have Geico call me for that one. *g*)

Lucky Cake, Sadie-Style

Ingredients:
1 package white cake mix
2 packages of instant pudding mix, Pistachio flavor
1/3 cup of oil
4 whole eggs
½ cup of water
½ cup of milk

Directions:
Start by mixing the wet ingredients in your mixer and then slowly add in the dry ingredients. Bake at 350 degrees for approx. 45 – 50 minutes (or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean.) Voila – a delicious cake with a hint of St. Patrick’s Day green. If you want to go overboard, add a few drops of green food dye to some white icing. Or top with green sprinkles. And if you’re feeling decadent – shave some Hershey’s chocolate on there, as well.

Sadie would be green with envy.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

About Cerella:
Cerella D. Sechrist makes her home in southern Pennsylvania, under an hour's drive from the sweet life in Hershey. Growing up, her family annually celebrated an event called "Cookie Baking Day" where everyone gathered to bake over 80-dozen cookies, including one of their specialties: Peanut Blossoms topped with a Hershey's kiss. It therefore stands to reason that her love of desserts is a genetic inheritance and not to be taken lightly. When dieting, she consoles herself with midnight viewings of the Food Network.

Learn more about Cerella and her writing @ http://www.cerelladsechrist.com/

Blog and personal site: http://www.thecerellalife.com/

Follow her on Twitter @ thecerellalife

Love Finds You in Hershey, Pennsylvania, is available @:
Amazon

Barnes and Noble

Christian Book

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Giveaway!


One winner will receive a collector’s tin filled with a variety of Hershey’s Kisses in flavors like Cherry Cordial, Pumpkin Spice, Truffle, Caramel Apple and classic Milk Chocolate, along with an autographed copy of Love Finds You in Hershey, Pennsylvania by Cerella D. Sechrist!!!

Yum!


~If you would like to be entered to win just leave a comment telling me your favorite candy bar or candy!
~You MUST leave an email address in your comment so I can contact you for your mailing address if you win! (example: steelergirl83[at]gmail[dot]com )
~U.S. residents only please!
~Contest open until March 21, 2010 at 11:59PM EST.
~One winner will be chosen, their name posted on this blog, and they will be notified by email on March 22, 2010 and will have 48 hours to respond or another winner will be selected.


Don't forget to go here to enter for a chance to win signed copies of Critical Care and Disaster Status by Candace Calvert!

Also go here if you would like to enter to win The Substitute Bride by Janet Dean!

And go here to enter my giveaway of The Yellow House by Patricia Falvey and Beguiled by Deeanne Gist and J. Mark Bertrand!

Luck 'o the Irish to ya! ;-)


Comments

  1. WooHoo! Day three of awesome partying, for sure! Renee, I agree, Cerella is a fantastic writer! Pretty soon, she'll have publishers begging her for more deliciously, sweet romantic (and always funny) books. Cerella is one of my new favorite authors! And I'm still laughing about the volcano/toilet *grin* Oh, the bathroom will never be the same...LOL

    My absolutely fave candy would have to be Reese's! I could probably eat a dozen or so of those things (unfortunately)LOL

    Happy St. Patrick's Day Renee and Cerella!
    Love Ya,
    Ashley

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  2. Book sounds good. Chocolate looks yummy. Please enter me. Thanks.
    Favorite candy: toffee candy
    desertrose5173 at gmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  3. Terrific post! I visited an amusement park in Hershey, PA many years ago. It was the best! Thanks for including a recipe for Lucky Cake. It sounds so good!

    Favorite candy? Dark chocolate, at least 70% cocoa s'il vous plait.

    suko95(at)gmail(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  4. Great post! :)

    Oh, do I really have to pick a favorite? I have to say that recently I tried the Peanut Butter and Chocolate Twix. I don't know if it's my absolute favorite, but it sure is delicious!!! And, of course, I love it when my mom makes fudge around Christmas time!

    Thanks for the opportunity to win this book!

    stokes[dot]a[at]suddenlink[dot]net

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  5. Happy St. Patrick's Day to all : ) Renee, I hope you are enjoying this week as much as we are! Cerella, good books and good chocolate are an unbeatable combo! How wonderfully you have combined the two! Those are some wicked good recipes on your site ; )

    For pure chocolate satisfaction, you can't beat a Hershey's Milk Chocolate Bar!

    US Resident, Follower, Subscriber

    gcwhiskas at aol dot com

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  6. What a cute story... I can completely empathize with Sadie and her baking woes!

    My favorite candy of the moment is regular M&Ms... I just can't seem to get enough of them! My all-time favorite candy is Smarties though - the chocolate kind you can only get in the UK. :( Luckily, I have a British imports store right down the road from where I work, so I can run over there if I'm in desperate need of a fix!

    rachel85137 at gmail dot com

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  7. Whoa, you guys have some *seriously* great taste in candy! :) I'm with the peanut butter/chocolate crowd (Reese's! yes!) - and if I'm going for pure chocolate, the darker the better. (BTW, speaking of peanut butter and the recipes on my website - my brother makes a peanut butter pie that would even beat out Smith and Jones from the novel. I'm seriously getting a craving here.)

    And YAY for Smarties, too! They are my FAVORITE non-chocolate candy. I've never had the UK imported chocolate-covered ones. I may have to find an import store of my own... Hmm...

    Cerella D. Sechrist
    www.cerelladsechrist.com

    ReplyDelete
  8. Top of the mornin' to one and all, and what a fun post/excerpt to go along with it!

    Cerella, can't wait to read your book -- LOVE your humor and gotta feeling I will LOVE your book, too, not to mention the chocolate kisses if I should be so lucky to win both ...

    Although I have one, teeny-tiny question, Cerella ... uh, if Sadie can't bake to save her soul ... just WHY would I trust a recipe called "Lucky Cake, Sadie-style"??? :)

    Hugs,
    Julie

    ReplyDelete
  9. Cerella,
    So good to see you here! As I've said before I just love your book cover and can't wait to read! The recipe looks wonderful - I collect them, ya know:) It's so interesting posting excerpts as you really get a feel for the author's style - and I really like your style. Bless you all!

    ReplyDelete
  10. I would REALLY like to read this book, it looks awesome! :) I LOVE Score bars. My favorite candy, that I don't get very often. :(

    caseymh18(at)gmail(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  11. Fav candy bar--Reese--chocolate & peanut butter a winning combination.
    This book looks great. I would love to win it.
    csdsksds[at]gmail[dot]com

    ReplyDelete
  12. Cerella, it's great to get to know you and your writing. Fun excerpt!! You must've had a blast writing a heroine chef who can't bake. I'm sure Sadie will earn her happy ending! :-)

    I didn't even know Hershey Kisses came in all those fabulous flavors. I've been eating mine dark...for my health. :-)

    I've been to Hershey, PA's amusement park. The roller coaster broke down and riders had to be led off, walking along those narrow boards beside the rails. Thank goodness none of my family was on it at the time!

    Janet

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  13. This book sounds cute! I love, love, love baking. My favorite candy is Reese's Peanut Butter cups. It doesn't get better than chocolate and peanut butter...in my opinion. :)

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  14. I really want to read this book..I got to go to Hersey, PA this past summer. :) My favorite candy is probably a toss up between a Hersey chocolate bar or plain M&Ms.

    sundaisy920 at gmail dot com

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  15. Hi ladies! Happy St. Patrick's Day to ya! Why did I decide to ask what everyone's favorite candy is?! Now I'm really craving some peanut butter cups, Smarties, and M&Ms!!!! Anybody wanna share some? LOL!

    Hahaha Julie I kinda had the same feeling as you, would I really trust a cake made by Sadie even this easy recipe?

    If you want some good laughs this is definitely the book to pick up...just make sure you read it on a full stomach because otherwise it will definitely make you HUNGRY!

    XOXO~ Renee

    ReplyDelete
  16. Please enter my name in this giveaway.

    Favorite candy bar: Nestle Crunch!

    seizethebookblog(at)gmail(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  17. Would love to win this book....please enter me. I guess my favorite is Snickers!!
    Thanks!!
    jackie.smith(at)dishmail(dot)net

    ReplyDelete
  18. My favorite is a plain ole Hersey Bar (milk chocolate). You can never go wrong with that. Soon as I take a bite, pleasure hits me. Gosh, I got to look in my kitchen now for some candy. LOL! Your book sounds great.

    kiss417(at)hotmail(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  19. My favorite candy is Andes mints. They are so good.

    gevin13{at}gmail{dot}com

    ReplyDelete
  20. Mmm...chocolate! My favorite candy would be Twix or snickers. Depends on if I want nuts or not. lol

    Jennafraugh(at)gmail(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  21. happy anniversary...happy st patrick's day, too

    my favourite candy bar is: snickers ;)

    karenk
    kmkuka at yahoo dot com

    ReplyDelete
  22. It is SO funny you guys have mentioned this issue of trusting a cake entitled "Lucky Cake, Sadie-Style"...I was just thinking about this earlier today. My theory is that this cake could be LUCKY for someone like SADIE. ;) So glad to see all the comments here. I trust we've all had our sugar high for the day. ;)

    Cerella D. Sechrist
    www.cerelladsechrist.com

    ReplyDelete
  23. My favorite candy is Hershey's Milk Chocolate Bar!Love Finds You in Hershey, Pennsylvania sounds wonderful.Please enter me in the giveaway.augustlily06(at)aim(dot)com.Thank you.

    ReplyDelete
  24. Hey Cerella (and Renee)!!! *waving wildly* How are ya, girl? It's been too long since we've emailed. :D

    Weeeellll....I'll bet you know what my answer will be! *snicker* Drum roll please.......Dove's Peppermint Bark candies! They are THE best! I even got Cerella hooked on them. *tee hee* My other fave is M&M Minis. I have some sitting on my desk right now in fact!

    Please don't enter me in the contest, as I have already devoured Sadie's story...and LOVED it immensely. The winner is in for a definite treat!

    {{BIG hugs}}

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  25. I am soooo proud of myself even after all of these posts mentioning yummy candy I haven't eaten ANY today, I have willpower! :-P

    XOXO~ Renee

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  26. What a delightful premise and a great cover.

    Hey, I have made that cake before it is perfect in a Bundt pan. Delicious.

    I'd be a St. Paddy's day fool not to leave my email address.

    tina at tinarusso dot com

    What a fun week this is!!!

    ReplyDelete
  27. oops silly me...my favorite candy is DOVE DARK CHOCOLATE BARS.

    The ultimate best.

    ReplyDelete
  28. I can't believe I missed this one! I've wanted to read it ever since you all first reviewed it and told me all about the author and how nice she is.

    Let's see my favorite candy bar. That's like picking a favorite child. May I say more than one? Please? I don't want to take any chances on disqualification, so I'll say Mr. Goodbar. We usually buy those bags of miniatures and I'll claim all the Mr. Goodbars before anyone else. ;op

    leesmithwriting{at}yahoo{dot}com

    ReplyDelete
  29. I can't wait to read the book. It sounds very interesting. Plus I like food stories.

    Favorite candy bar. Too many to list. I love anything with chocolate in it, but right now my favorite is Kit Kat. I just love the chocolate plus the crunchy texture. Yum!
    cynthiakchow (at) earthlink (dot) net

    ReplyDelete
  30. Wow, this list of candy just keeps getting better and better. I may be taking a trip to my local sweet shop before this week is out. LOL! (And yes, I'll probably have to look for more Dove's Peppermint Bark since Lori really did get me hooked on it!)

    I'm glad someone has tried the cake recipe with success!! Sadie would be encouraged by that. ;)

    Cerella
    www.cerelladsechrist.com

    ReplyDelete
  31. I am really getting into the Love Finds You books.
    Dove chocolate is my favorite.
    wsmarple/at/gmail/dot/com

    ReplyDelete
  32. I LOVE mint chocolate! Just makes my mouth water thinking about it! I would really like to be entered into this contest- I've been wanting to read the book.
    djkeoppel(at)yahoo(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  33. Oh, my! This is fun. I would love to visit Hershey Penn. even through a book would be an adventure. I will be honest I don't think I have a favorite choc. bar. I love them all!
    Deborah M.
    debbiejeanm[at]gmail[dot]com

    ReplyDelete
  34. My favorite candy bar is the dark chocolate Reese's Peanut Butter Cups.

    Peanut Blossoms are a must for our family every Christmas, too. Good choice, Cerella.

    julesreffner(at)gmail(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  35. Hey Renee is this giveaway still going on because if it is I would love to be entered!
    I have been wanting to read this book for awhile!
    My favorite Candy would be Lindt milk chocolate truffles with peanut butter in the middle yum!
    It's making my mouth water just thinking about It!
    Lindsey
    lindseypa89(at)yahoo(dot)com

    ReplyDelete

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