Sunday, March 22, 2015

Love is in the Air: Author interview with Betsy St. Amant

The first author featured in my new "Love is in the Air" blog series is a dear writer friend, Betsy St. Amant! 

Ladies, if you love cupcakes, cute guys and stories on romance and dreams come true, you'll love Betsy's new book, All's Fair in Love and Cupcakes!

Here's the best part, Betsy is giving away one signed paperback copy of her book, All's Fair in Love and Cupcakes! Enter the book giveaway contest by using the Rafflecopter widget at the end of this author interview.


Book blurb:

Kat Varland has had enough of chocolate, vanilla, and strawberry. At twenty-six years old, Kat is still living in the shadows of her family in Bayou Bend, Louisiana. Still working shifts at her Aunt Maggie's bakery. Still wondering what to do with her passion for baking and her business degree. And still single.

But when Lucas Brannen, Kat's best friend, signs her up for a reality TV bake-off on Cupcake Combat, everything Kat ever wanted is suddenly dangled in front of her: creative license as a baker, recognition as a visionary...and a job at a famous bakery in New York.

As the competition heats up, Lucas realizes he might have made a huge mistake. As much as he wants the best for Kat, the only thing he wants for himself--her--is suddenly in danger of slipping away. 

The bright lights of reality cooking wars and the chance at a successful career dazzle Kat's senses and Lucas is faced with a difficult choice: help his friend achieve her dreams...or sabotage her chances to keep her in Louisiana. 

*Note from Alexis: The story sounds delightful, doesn't it? Let's move on to my interview with the book's author, Betsy St. Amant, and discover the delicious details about her book! My questions are in bold, Betsy's answers are not in bold. 

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Alexis: Why do you love writing about love?

Betsy: I’m such a romantic at heart. I’ve always been drawn to love stories, whether it’s fairy tale romances or real life testimonies. I love writing about the love we are blessed with on earth, as well as the ultimate, unconditional love that our Heavenly Father has for us!

Share your elevator pitch for your 2014 release, All’s Fair in Love and Cupcakes.

What if your biggest dream came true—and you realized you didn’t want it anymore?

Who or what inspired you to write All’s Fair in Love and Cupcakes?

I created the proposal for All’s Fair in Love and Cupcakes, which actually had a working title of “A Taste of Love” while at a women’s scrapbook retreat. A bunch of women including my mom and sister spent two nights in a cute little bed and breakfast in a nearby town, and everyone “scrapped” – except me, who sat with her laptop and created this very story from scratch. I wanted to do a “friends to lovers” romance, and when someone at one point suggested I write about cupcakes because I was always talking about them on social media, it seemed a fun fit!

Your main character Kat Varland sounds like she’s a baker on a budget! Tell us about how you created Kat and why you gave her a passion for baking and a business degree.

I think there’s a little bit of Kat in every woman. I wanted to show that relatable quality, so women readers could put themselves in her shoes and know that they aren’t alone in being afraid to dream…in being torn between wanting to express themselves and wanting to hide. Women fear rejection. Kat knew she had more to offer than what she could do baking for her aunt in a small town…yet at the same time, she was terrified to try. That’s why Lucas was so good for her – not just as a romance, but as someone who believed in her and brought out her best. Someone who knew just how much to push her.

What is the deepest desire in Kat’s heart, one which the readers may not know until they’re halfway through your book?

This is a hard question because Kat starts off thinking she knows what she wants, going hard for her goal, and then realizing that her dreams might not actually be what she thought they were all along.

Does this story have a happy ending? If yes, can you give us a clue?

All of my stories are HEA! (Happily ever after) You’ll have to read to find out the details ;)

Lucas Brannen is your male lead. Share his story. What makes him tick? What brings a smile to his face? Where is he in his faith journey with God? What does he do for a living?


I love Lucas. In some ways, he seems “too good to be true” – the handsome, loving, considerate, hunky football coach who is dedicated to Kat. But Lucas has internal struggles too, and his own fears of rejection. As a coach, he’s used to being in control and knowing which plays to call to get his desired result. When it comes to Kat and his newly realized love for her that goes beyond friendship, he is without a play book and totally out of his element. He has to learn what true love and sacrifice really means, and has to realize that sometimes our dreams can only come true when we risk letting them go completely.

What role does the faith of your characters play in this story?

The faith thread in this story is about letting go and trusting God with the deepest parts of our hearts. It’s about self-sacrifice and demonstrating true love like Jesus did for us.

How does your faith in God play into your fictional stories, characters and scenes?


I always write through my lens of faith, whether the faith/inspirational thread is overt or subtle. My characters always have strong morals (the same ones I believe in) and yet are very real, very imperfect people in need of grace (as I am!) I hope at the end of my stories my readers experience hope, and are drawn to the God of grace if they don’t already know Him.

Your story plays out between New York and Louisiana. Why did you choose those two states for your story setting? What’s special about each location?

I’m Louisiana born and raised, so I always like to set my stories around La., since it’s what I know. I know the crazy weather, the history, the culture, the quirks. I usually invent a small town so I have freedom to design it as needed for each story. New York and Los Angeles were the other cities in this story, because NYC was where the grand prize was located, and Los Angeles because that was where the reality show was filmed.

What is the greatest lesson you’ve learned from your characters in this book?


It’s a clich√©, the whole “letting go and letting God” but I do believe there is a lot of truth in that. When we hold tightly to the things we love the most, we tend to squeeze the life out of them. But when we open our hands and surrender the dreams to the ultimate Dream-Giver, He breathes new life. I need this reminder frequently, as do Kat and Lucas!

If you could be the best friend forever (BFF) of one of your characters in this book, who would it be and why?

I would love to be Kat’s BFF and get free cupcakes ;)

What was your favorite memory of writing this book?

Sitting at the scrapbook retreat with my mom and sister, creating this proposal and one-sheet, and getting excited about a new story that, at the time, I had no idea was going to plant me at my dream publishing house. God is so good!

Do you like cupcakes? If yes, what is your favorite flavor and real-life bakery?


Oh yes, I definitely do! My favorite real life bakery is here in Shreveport, called Buttercups. Buttercups actually competed on Food Network’s “Cupcake Wars” several years ago. They are delicious! My favorite flavor is probably strawberry, though my mom makes a pink lemonade cupcake that is also amazing.

Complete this sentence: When I wrote “the end” to All’s Fair in Love and Cupcakes, I_______________because _________________.

When I wrote “the end” to All’s Fair in Love and Cupcakes, I celebrated because it was finally done baking and was ready to be consumed! :)

Thanks for the interview, Betsy! Please leave a question for my readers to answer.


Betsy’s question for my readers: What's your favorite cupcake flavor?

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Author bio:


Betsy St. Amant has a heart for three things - chocolate, new shoes and sharing the amazing news of God's grace through her novels. 


She resides in Louisiana with her adorable, story-telling young daughter, a collection of Austen novels and an impressive stash of Pickle Pringles. 

Betsy has a B.A. in Communications, is multi-published in contemporary romantic fiction, and freelances for her local newspaper. She also enjoys inspirational speaking and teaching on the craft of writing. 

When she's not composing her next book or trying to figure out where Mr. Darcy went, she can usually be found somewhere in the vicinity of a white-chocolate mocha, or singing along with her daughter to the latest Disney soundtrack. 

Look for her upcoming novel with HarperCollins publishers, Love Arrives in Pieces, June 2015!

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Buy Betsy's book, All's Fair in Love and Cupcakes:
Amazon.com - http://amzn.to/1CJxffC
BarnesandNoble.com - http://bit.ly/1GGtMh9
Zondervan.com - http://bit.ly/1DKIgif

Connect with Betsy:
Author page on Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/BetsySt.Amant
Official website - http://www.betsystamant.com/
Twitter - https://twitter.com/betsystamant

10 comments:

  1. Great interview! :) Betsy's story sounds delightful, and now I'm hungry for a cupcake, LOL. (Preferably a vanilla one with chocolate icing--YUM!)
    Blessings, Patti Jo

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  2. Betsy, your book sounds like pure FUN! My mother-in-law (89) reads books like this b/c she can relax with them, after a lifetime of reading authors like Grisham, etc.

    And my daughter sells great cupcakes in her store in Mason City, Iowa.
    Fun to peruse your interview, and I'd like to meet your daughter and that Austen stash!

    Gail

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  3. Definitely sounds likes a book our library readers would love. Thanks.

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  4. I had a homemade Chocolate cupcake that had coffee in it. Oh. My. It was scrumptious!
    Betsy's books sounds delightful!

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  5. My favorite flavor is Red Velvet! Mmmmm :)

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  6. There is a cupcake place in town that makes a delicious chocolate cupcake with peanut butter toffee icing. Wow!

    @AmandaGeaney

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  7. Summer before last I was into lemonade cakes/cupcakes and decided to add pink lemonade to cake and esp to icing...delicious...sorry I waited so long as I've been drink PL Cyrstal Light for years!!

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  8. I would have to say chocolate. But my favorite part is the icing!!!

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  9. Anything with chocolate is good. Or strawberries.

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  10. Thanks for hosting me Alexis! And those all sounds so yummy, guys!! Thanks for commenting. (and making me hungry!) ;)

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