~ FRIDAY FICTION FEATURE ~
-- 'LIBBY'S CUPPA JOE' --
AUTHOR REBECCA WATERS
~Post Includes: Book Spotlight, Author
Bio, Excerpt, Unique Guest Post Shared
by the Author & Giveaway~
Welcome to the Blog Tour & Giveaway for Libby's Cuppa Joe by Rebecca Waters with JustRead Publicity Tours!
ABOUT THE BOOK
Author: Rebecca Waters
Publisher: Ambassador International
Release Date: March 8, 2018
Genre: Women’s Fiction
Can grace and love be found amongst coffee grounds?
Sonja Parker is about to find out.
Excited to leave her stale life in the big city behind, Sonja takes the money her grandmother left her and purchases Libby's Cuppa Joe, a thriving coffee shop in a small community in Wisconsin's Door County. Sonja may have business sense, but is she ready to face the world on her own?
Sonja soon discovers owning a business requires more than offering a good cup of coffee. She must make major repairs to the building as well as major repairs to her heart. Do the former owners, Libby and Joe hold the answer? As Sonja seeks to make Libby's Cuppa Joe a viable business, can she also find herself and the God she has abandoned?
Libby's Cuppa Joe is a riveting tale of second chances, forgiveness, and not living on borrowed faith.
Sonja was shaking. She gave the young man his change. The timer for the oven sounded. Sonja plated the muffins and delivered them to the three early morning customers now sitting at a table near the bookshelves. She ran hastily back into the kitchen. She had not made it to the bank yesterday. There should have been over three hundred dollars in the box. Her mind was racing.
Maybe Damon put it somewhere safe. He often commented on how anyone could just walk in and take a cash box while they were busy. Sonja searched the kitchen. The money was nowhere to be found. Another couple came into the store. Sonja served them quickly then stole away to her apartment. She looked in the drawer in Damon’s bedside table. Nothing. Perhaps he put the money in one of the drawers where he kept his clothes. Nothing.
Nothing. Not even his clothes. Sonja’s stomach began to churn.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Rebecca Waters has been a writer most of her life. Her first published work was a story in the school newspaper she wrote in second grade. For many years Rebecca used her stories as illustrations in church settings and to entertain her own three daughters. Her professional writing included educational articles and research. Following her retirement as a professor of education from Cincinnati Christian University, Rebecca turned her pen to the world of fiction. She has also published several articles in Chicken Soup for the Soul, The Lookout Magazine, and Home Health Aide Digest. Her first novel, Breathing on Her Own, was released in 2014.
~ Behind the Scenes of Libby’s Cuppa Joe ~
I’m often asked about where I get the idea for a story. The ideas for me are easy. I look around and imagine the story behind what makes a person think and act the way they do. But crafting a story? Crafting takes research. Come with me behind the scenes in the crafting of Libby’s Cuppa Joe.
The Setting: Libby’s Cuppa Joe takes place in a coffee shop in Door County, Wisconsin. I had visited Door County as a tourist. To assure accuracy, I researched the Wisconsin peninsula on-line. I gathered information about the calendar of events in the communities there and used a map to think through the places and roads my characters would travel.
The Coffee Shop: Running a coffee shop is a bit beyond the skills I acquired with my Mr. Coffee. While I enjoy drinking coffee and love the ambience of a quaint coffee shop when I’m traveling, I was clueless about what goes on in the commercial kitchen. I first contacted a friend who runs the coffee shop at the university where I taught. He gave me great technical advice. I found trade shows available for the industry online. Although I couldn’t afford such events, I gleaned great information and good questions from the websites and promotional materials. I took those questions to a sweet couple operating a coffee shop near where I lived in Florida during the writing of the book.
The Cookies: I knew I wanted to serve sweets in Libby’s Cuppa Joe coffee shop. I started with what I knew. I baked coffee cakes and cinnamon rolls. I decided these foods, though delicious, weren’t cost effective for my main character, Sonja Parker, who is, like me, learning the business. I settled on a recipe my mother gave me for Breakfast Cookies. I baked them and tried adding ingredients to make them even more special. My husband loved this part of the research and encouraged me to continue my work!
Kringle: My daughter lives in Kenosha, Wisconsin. A pastry common to the area where she lives is called kringle. The traditional kringle is made with an almond paste though more contemporary versions are filled with fruit. This research proved to be messy. I had flour and sticky dough everywhere. My finished version of the flaky crust may not have looked pretty, but it was delicious. Since I had trouble making it, I knew Sonja would find it difficult. I brought help in by way of a young woman named Melissa. She helped Sonja in the coffee shop not only in creating the intricate kringle pastry, but to offer kindness and love to Sonja who most certainly needed it.
Character Names: Sometimes readers ask me about the names I choose for characters. One rule of thumb writers often use is to make sure main characters don’t have names that begin with the same letter. We don’t like to confuse our readers. I have two other little tricks up my sleeve. I determine the ages of my characters then decide what year they were born. On the internet I can find popular names for that year. I used that for several of my characters in Libby’s Cuppa Joe. I chose Sonja’s name for two reasons. I looked for a name that was both popular for her age but also indicative of the European heritage of many of the people who settled Wisconsin.
A Power Outage: It is important for characters to face stress form time to time. I read of a couple of power outages in Door County so I threw one Sonja’s way. I made it happen in winter and caused the freezing conditions to break pipes in her establishment. What a mess. I’m not a plumber and had to do quite a bit of digging to figure out what Sonja had done wrong when she closed her shop for the winter months and what she had to do to fix it.
The Kenosha Connection: I have Sonja visit with her parents in Kenosha, Wisconsin. She visits the library there, goes to the doctor and to church. I don’t need to use my imagination for this one. Here is the “behind the scenes” fact: My daughter lives in Kenosha. My visits there helped me in the crafting of Libby's Cuppa Joe.
How Libby Got Her Name: When I started writing the book I researched names as I said before. One of the names I found for the year the original proprietor of the coffee shop was born was Shirley. I have a cousin named Shirley so I thought it a good way to give a nod to her. I started the writing of Shirley’s Cuppa Joe. I wasn’t far into it when my youngest daughter said she would pass over a book with that title. She thought I needed a more contemporary name. I put the problem out to readers of my blog. There were several options offered. One was “Livvy.” I changed it slightly to become Libby and tested it with my readers. I’ll find a new way to nod to my cousin.
CONNECT WITH REBECCA: Website | Facebook | Twitter
Enter via the Rafflecopter giveaway below. Giveaway will begin at midnight May 28, 2019 and last through 11:59 pm June 4, 2019. US only. Winners will be notified within 2 weeks of close of the giveaway and given 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen.
Giveaway is subject to the policies found here.
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LINK TO 'HANDMADE HEARTS'