Today I am excited to share my review of a new release How to Bake the Perfect Apple Pie written by Gina Henning and a fun Q & A with the author!
Author: Gina Henning
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Published: June 4, 2015 by Carina
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 fiancé 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!
Six months from now, Lauren’s grandmother wants her to make an award winning apple pie, but Lauren’s not exactly savvy in the kitchen. Between the recent promotion at work, the long distance engagement and now learning how to bake this pie, Lauren has got her hands full!
Let me start off by saying that I absolutely loved this novel! The main underlying theme throughout the novel was the difficulty that long distance couples go through, especially when trying to plan a wedding. It addressed the insecurities some people have of not wanting to lose themselves by letting the other person take control of their life. Becoming a we shouldn’t mean letting go of me. It also addressed the idea of not wanting to have the other person witness your failures, but ultimately knowing that you have to share the good and the bad in order to build a strong, lasting relationship.
There were themes of insecurity, jealously, lack of communication, long distance relationships, major life changes, dealing with the stress of more responsibility in a job promotion and juggling it all. Oh and did I mention love? All consuming, made for each other, can’t stand to be without one another love. There were so many issues in Jack and Lauren’s relationship, and almost all of them were due to distance and lack of sharing the details about their lives. I loved the idea that all things worth achieving take effort and that stepping out of your comfort zone will provide the sweetest rewards in life.
Although this is the third in the series, it can be read alone. I haven’t read the first ones, but now I’m dying to go and read them to find out how Lauren and Jack’s relationship started!
Everything happened so fast… I can’t catch my breath. When we’re together, it’s as if we are on our own planet with no gravity. And when I’m without him it’s like I’ve lost my oxygen tank and I can’t breathe. I’m floating into outer space without my ship.
I’m overwhelmed with my emotions. Sadness, worry, doubt, fear, and then the possibility of happiness and enjoyment and the biggest emotion of them all… love.
My Rating: 5/5 Stars
Author Q & A – Gina Henning
Hi Gina, a huge, warm welcome to Living Life With Joy! Thank you so much for participating in this interview. Would you like to start by introducing yourself?
Hello everyone, my name is Gina. *Passes a round of drinks to the group* I was just looking over my bio and realized that I probably need to change “She recently completed her one-and-done marathon.” Unless, we think “recently” was a year and half ago? I kind of get the shakes thinking about that day. I’m happy that I was able to mark that off my To Do List…but I haven’t run a race since then. Obviously, I need to get back in gear. Thank you to Arielle, for letting me visit on her lovely blog. I enjoyed answering these questions.
1. Can you give us a brief overview of your latest novel and the inspiration behind it?
Each one of the books in my Home for the Holiday Series is centered on a holiday. This one is the Fourth of July. The ultimate Fourth of July dessert is apple pie. As Jane Austen said “Good apple pies are considerable part of our domestic happiness.”
How to Bake the Perfect Apple Pie is a standalone book, however is the third book in my Home for the Holiday Series. Each book features Lauren Hauser and her growing romantic relationship with Jack Walker.
In this book, Lauren is returning from the holidays to a new promotion and a new ring. As in a diamond on her finger. She has to navigate between the role of being a manager and being a fiancé, and on the side she tries to plan her wedding.
Readers get to see how she attempts to balance both roles and the curveballs that are thrown her way all the while trying to create her own spin on her grandmother’s apple pie recipe as she gears up to compete in the annual Fourth of July pie baking contest in her home town.
2. How long did it take you to write How to Bake the Perfect Apple Pie? What is your writing process like?
Ooh…this depends…sometimes a few months, sometimes longer. My writing process has changed from being a panster to a plotter. Whereas now I write out the ARC for each chapter almost before I even begin writing the story.
3. Can you tell us a bit about what you’re working on at the moment?
Next is the final installment in my Home for the Holiday Series, which is titled How to Bake the Perfect Wedding Cake.
4. What’s your favorite quality about your Jack and Lauren?
Jack seriously makes me swoon and I love that about him. He is arrogant, yet full of romantic gestures that melt my heart. And I like that Lauren doesn’t take herself too seriously and happily laughs at somewhat silly jokes.
5. If you were given an offer to turn How to Bake the Perfect Apple Pie into a movie, who would you want to see playing the roles of Lauren and Jack?
Kat Dennings as Lauren and Liam Hemsworth as Jack.
6. What is your favorite thing about writing romance novels?
Giving characters their HEA.
7. Being a writer is a great job but what’s the worst job you’ve ever had?
I have fond memories mixed with not so pleasant ones of working at the movie theater as a teenager. The happy ones include meeting my husband. The not so great ones include cleaning some really nasty bathroom situations, dealing with a boss that insulted me (along with others beyond belief), and being harassed in a parking lot at night, talk about scary!
8. What is the best advice anyone has ever given you?
My dad’s favorite saying was “Think beyond the moment.” And though it’s been many years since he has been gone…I still think about this quote and hold it dear to my heart.
9. What are the things you can’t live without in your kitchen?
A corkscrew…because wine. Ha! My coffee machine, a peeler, a sharp knife, and a cutting board.
10. What are the things you can’t live without in your wardrobe?
My super comfy and stylish black comfy pants with a white stripe down the side…slimming yes? I have lots of shoes that make me happy and a few clutches that really say “yes”.
11. What would we find if we looked in your handbag right now?
A few tubes of lip gloss, my Benifit power, my broken wallet from Cozumel…I should replace but that would make me sad. My keys which include a glittery shark key chain (I love sharks), my phone (if I’m in route), a hair pick, and a ton of business cards.
12. Where is your favorite place in the world?
13. Either or…
Dogs or cats? Dogs
Red wine or white? Red
Coffee or tea? Both, but coffee first
Summer or Winter? Summer
Sleep in or get up early? Sleep in (if I could, my middle child wakes up early like a rooster without fail every morning!)
Apple or PC? Ooh….I have to waiver a bit here….I had an Apple but am currently using a Sony Vaio, it’s pink and was a gift from my husband.
A bit more about the Author – Gina Henning
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.
Don’t forget to check out all of the stops on Gina’s tour and enter the giveaway!
Enter the Giveaway through the link: a Rafflecopter giveaway
The winner of the rafflecopter giveaway will win an apple pie necklace and the How to Bake the Perfect Apple Pie Story Locket Bracelet. The bracelet is a story locket which contains charms that are significant to the story.