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"Donna Kauffman"

A Holiday For The Dogs by Donna Kauffman

In Unleashed, the first story in my Hamilton Christmas novella trilogy, heroine Emma Lafferty owns a professional pet sitting service. While I did, at one time, many (oh so very many) moons ago teach obedience training professionally, these days my pet-sitting services are exclusively reserved for my granddogs. (I’m still waiting on grandkids, but granddogs are absolutely the next best thing!)

My oldest has an adorable rescue, Lily, whose mama was a yellow Labrador retriever, and her papa was a dachshund. (I know, how did that work?) Lily has the thicker body of a lab, but the shorter legs and longer body of a dachshund, hence her nickname, Lily Long Dog.  Halloween is a favorite holiday of ours and Oldest’s dogs have always been involved, sporting their own canine costumes as they help to hand out treats to the all the neighborhood kids. (You haven’t lived until you’ve seen a one-hundred-pound bull dog in a tutu and bunny ears!)  Lily is now part of that grand Halloween tradition. Continue reading “A Holiday For The Dogs by Donna Kauffman”

Hamilton Christmas Novellas: The Inspiration by Donna Kauffman

Second chances.  I love them, and not just for my characters.  In the case of my Hamilton Christmas trilogy, the second chance is for the stories themselves. I was thrilled when my editor told me that Kensington was going to gather the three holiday stories I’d set in my fictional town of Hamilton, stories that had originally been tucked away in three separate anthologies and bring them out again as solo novellas, so readers could enjoy each one of them on their own.

As I re-read the stories again, in preparation for their release, I couldn’t help but reflect back to where I was in my life when I first wrote these stories.  At the time, I was living in a heavily developed suburb of our nation’s capital, raising two boys amidst piles of football, soccer, and lacrosse equipment, with two terriers also underfoot as well as an assortment of rescue parrots I was fostering at the time for good measure. My life was never boring, and I loved my furry, feathered, and sports-obsessed tribe.

Admittedly, the raucous chaos that was my daily life did make me dream of quieter spaces.  Annual trips out to the Blue Ridge mountains in the western part of Virginia provided a much needed tranquil respite, and I dreamed of living out there full time once I’d launched the two-legged members of our tribe from the nest.

I wrote the Hamilton series with that dream in mind.  The town and the county in these stories might be fictional, but in every other way, Hamilton, Virginia is the place I wanted to go to set down new roots, launch a new life.

In the first story, Unleashed, Emma Lafferty owns her own pet-sitting business. You can only imagine where that idea came from! When she takes on a holiday assignment from the wealthy owner of Hamilton Industries, she looks forward to a holiday spent in the old man’s weekend estate in the mountains surrounded by his menagerie of animals, including basset hound Jack, Great Dane Martha, and the African grey parrot, Cicero.  She doesn’t anticipate meeting the conglomerate owner’s nephew or getting pulled into a bit of local intrigue about a secret Lionel Hamilton is harboring, one that his nephew, Trevor Hamilton, is determined to uncover. She definitely didn’t plan on falling in love.

Continue reading “Hamilton Christmas Novellas: The Inspiration by Donna Kauffman”

Blue Hollow Falls (Blue Hollow Falls #1) by Donna Kauffman

Carla Loves To Read

Blue Hollow Falls (Blue Hollow Falls #1)4.5 Stars

Published June 27th 2017 by Zebra

This quote from USA Today, sums up the way I felt about this book.
“We all know where there’s Donna Kauffman, there’s a rollicking, sexy read chock‑full of charm and sparkle. Kauffman’s characters are adorably human and so very magnetic.” —USAToday.com

When Sonny’s mother dies, she believes she is now alone, that is until she finds out that her biological father has died and she has been left a part of an old silk mill and relatives. Sonny heads off to Blue Hollow Falls to meet family she never knew about. Bailey is her 10 year old half sister, Sawyer, her half brother, and Addie, her father’s ex-wife. Along with them comes a small town full of artisans who are working on restoring the old mill that she is a part owner of. As the story unfolds, I loved seeing how these…

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Donna Kauffman-Tara Sheets Interview

Hi Tara!

I’m so happy we get the chance to chat today. First, I wanted to congratulate you on your Golden Heart win and subsequent sale of the book. So exciting! From a fellow Kensington author, welcome to the fam!

Thank you so much! I am thrilled that Don’t Call Me Cupcake found a home with the Kensington family. This book is very close to my heart, and I can’t believe I’m finally at the point where I’ll be able to share it with readers.

Q: I immediately fell in love with The Holloway Girls in your first release in that series, Don’t Call Me Cupcake. I also fell in love with Pine Cove Island. Tell us about how you came to pick Washington state for the location. Any fun research stories to tell?

I lived in Washington state for almost twenty years, and there’s a group of islands off the Pacific Northwest coast called the San Juan Islands. My family and I spent many summers on Friday Harbor, which is the inspiration behind Pine Cove Island. I remember visiting and thinking how the waterfront town, the tourist shops, and the gorgeous ocean views seemed a little bit magical and romantic. Plus, there were many sweet shops selling cupcakes, ice cream, and all sorts of delicious treats. That’s when I began dreaming up the story of the Holloway girls.

Q: Cupcakes! Aren’t they just addictive? I spent a year consumed by all things cupcakes while researching my Cupcake Club books. You’d think I’d be so over them, but no ma’am. Your book was an instant-buy on the title alone. What drew you to writing about baking and cupcakes?

I’ve never been very interested in cooking, but I definitely love to bake. My parents owned a small coffee shop, and my sister and I used to take turns trying out new cupcake and cookie recipes in the kitchen. My grandmother also owned a similar shop in Hawaii, so I think the idea of magical cupcakes evolved from those experiences. And I do have a sweet tooth, so let’s just say, many cupcakes were “tested” during the writing of this book. Research is so important, you know!

Q: If the title hadn’t already hooked me, when I discovered that your heroine, Emma Holloway, bakes wishes into the cupcakes? I love that SO, so much! I also love the name Fairy Cakes for Emma’s bakery. Where did your “little something extra” idea come from?

I’ve always loved fairy tales. There’s something whimsical and fun about sprinkling a little bit of magic into a story. When I thought of Emma and her baking, the magical talent was always a part of that from the very beginning. I knew that I wanted these Holloway women to each have a special ability that helped people. I chose the name Fairy Cakes not just because it refers to cupcakes, but also because it gives a nod to fairy tales and Emma’s past.

Q: Tell us a little about Hunter Kane and the trouble he has in store for Emma. She’s so flustered when she meets him she sells him three of her magical Sweet Success cupcakes. Oh boy!

Yes, the deliciously handsome Hunter Kane visits Emma’s shop and she thinks he’s just a passing tourist. When he mentions he’s there on business, she gives him magical cupcakes to bring him success. Later she finds out that his “business” is the fancy new restaurant and bakery opening up right next to her shop. Emma is furious. The hot guy who charmed her is the new rival who’s going to take away all her profits? Not acceptable! She turns to her cousin Juliette and together they scheme to make him leave town forever. Magic and mayhem ensue . . .

Q: Like Hunter and Emma, I love it when the hero and heroine go from adversaries to a forever-kind-of-love. So much tension! And when a lot of it is sexual? Even better! Is this a favorite of yours as a reader? What other themes might be in store for us? (Childhood friend to lover is another fave of mine. Hint, hint!)

I definitely enjoy reading stories where the characters go from enemies to lovers. That slow-burn kind of romantic tension is the best kind. It makes the final moment where they realize their feelings for each other so much more satisfying. Plus, it’s just so much fun watching them trying—and failing—to resist each other! As for stories where the hero and heroine go from childhood friends to lovers, that’s another one of my favorites. It sparked the idea for the second book in the series.

Q: Okay, okay, so I have to stop talking about Emma’s Fairy Cakes cupcakes and Hunter’s everything hotness for just a moment (wah!) You have such a fascinating story yourself, I want to hear more about that. You were born on Guam and your family is Chamorro. Tell us a little about your cultural background and if that has influenced you in your writing in any way.

I am Chamorro, born on Guam and raised overseas. My family traveled a lot and I grew up in different countries including Dubai and Cairo, Egypt. Even though we had such different experiences, I still feel very connected to my island life. A lot of my family is now in Hawaii. I think it just made sense for me to base my first series on an island, because I’m familiar with that small-town atmosphere and lifestyle. In a way, my fictional town of Pine Cove Island melds that with what I’ve learned about living in the Pacific Northwest. I also created Emma’s mother’s character using my experience of what it was like to move from place to place growing up.

Q: I hear your great-grandfather has a bronze statue in his honor on Guam. How awesome is that? And it has something to do with ice? You definitely need to tell us all about that! Continue reading “Donna Kauffman-Tara Sheets Interview”

From the kitchen of Brides of Blueberry Cove author Donna Kauffman

Spending time in Maine while researching my Blueberry Cove books, it’s no surprise that I’ve become a big fan of baking with blueberries. One of my all time favorites is this blueberry crumb cake. It’s called a “buckle” because it is more cake like, and heavy on the blueberries. So much so, that as the crumb cake cools, it ‘buckles’ under the weight of all the blueberry goodness. You can use freshly picked or frozen blueberries, so it’s a great all year round, go-to recipe. Enjoy! Continue reading “From the kitchen of Brides of Blueberry Cove author Donna Kauffman”

Repurposed Shutter Project with Donna Kauffman

There are so many things you can do with old, weathered shutters! They make great wall hangings for everything from note boards, to card, or magazine holders. Attach a few clips and make a great organizer. Continue reading “Repurposed Shutter Project with Donna Kauffman”

Seashore Memories In A Jar with Donna Kauffman

I’m always looking for new ways to preserve my memories when I return from the lovely Maine coast. I’m at my crafty happiest when I can combine photos and some of my seashore treasures all in one nifty project. Okay, I should clarify – all in one nifty, easy-to-make project! Continue reading “Seashore Memories In A Jar with Donna Kauffman”

Miniature Garden Centerpiece with Donna Kauffman

In Sea Glass Sunrise, heroine Hannah McCrae’s younger sister, Fiona, creates miniature garden centerpieces for their brother, Logan McCrae’s, wedding reception. The gardens featured wee Maine-themed settings, including one that had the McCrae’s very own Pelican Point lighthouse.

Continue reading “Miniature Garden Centerpiece with Donna Kauffman”

Indoor Water Garden with Donna Kauffman

Even when it’s cold and dreary outside, and spring seems so far away, that doesn’t mean you can’t begin “planting” your garden. Why not try an indoor water garden? Wander your local flea markets, check out an antique shop, or just browse through Grandpa’s old shed to see what kind of fun glass bottles and clear containers you can find. Continue reading “Indoor Water Garden with Donna Kauffman”

“Well my daughter’s a writer too you know.” by KM Jackson

 

“Well my daughter is a writer to you know.”

Wait a minute did she really just say that to best-selling author James Patterson? Of course she did, and I really don’t know why I am surprised since that she in question is my very own never to be outdone or outshined mama, Ms. K.

Let me give you all a little set up on the way we got to be in this scenario with my mom bragging to James Patterson and then, even more shockingly to President Bill Clinton.

It all started, a few days before when I’d heard that James Patterson and Bill Clinton would be signing their novel THE PRESIDENT IS MISSING at my local Barnes & Noble. Now being the good daughter, I am, I thought what a treat it would be to get a signed copy of the book for my mother since James Patterson’s her absolute favorite author ever. Notice I said James Patterson and not her own novel writing daughter, yours truly. But it’s cool.

Now, to get close and semi-personal with a bestseller and an ex-President one does not just walk up and breezily shake a hand. There are lines. Many lines. Lines and security checks and then more lines. But my mother kept herself busy by warming up the crowd around us with humble brag stories about how her daughter is an author too and she was used to meeting famous literati folks.

Cut to me eyes wide, Ummm laying it on a little thick there huh ma?

 

With me I had an advanced reader copy of AS GOOD AS THE FIRST TIME in my pocket (as one does when you’re excited about your ARC) and said wouldn’t it be great if I could get a photo with James Patterson or dare I hope, Bill Clinton. Now my mom being my mom thought such a thing was easy as pie. “Why should you not get a photo? You’re an author too, and you’re my daughter so you’re fabulous.” Okay Ma if you say so, though you may be just a little biased in this instance.

Finally, it was our turn. Security was cleared, and I was now more nervous than ever after the mom hype. So, as if I was all of twelve years old I nudged my mom ahead of me and said, “You go first!” Continue reading ““Well my daughter’s a writer too you know.” by KM Jackson”

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