Monday, November 14, 2011

Interview with Sandra D. Bricker + GIVEAWAY!

A couple of weeks back I promised ya'all an interview with Sandra D. Bricker, author of Always the Wedding Planner, Never the Bride, but... oops. I went to a lovely marriage retreat in Georgia with my True Love and forgot to schedule the post! So, with my deepest apologies for this oversight, here it is (finally!) with a giveaway to boot! Enjoy this sooo cute book trailer, then close it out and learn more about the book's creator right here!

~ Serena

Now let's give a warm, Edgy Inspirational Romance Welcome to author Sandra D. Bricker!

Q: You write about The Tanglewood Inn like you've been there. Is it based on a particular inn you've visited?

Sandra: In all the interviews I've done about the Baker books, no one has ever asked me that question! But YES! There is a place that The Tanglewood is based on. It's in San Diego, and it's called The Horton Grand Hotel. It's a charming little place in the Gaslamp District, and I used to run away from home when Los Angeles got too stressful. I always tried to stay in the same room (Room 210), and I would just dig in. Every room had a gas fireplace and was decorated differently in vintage, with antiques, and there's a journal in every room as well. Guests wrote about their hotel stays, and it was fascinating character research for someone like me. And remember that courtyard where Russell fell from the balcony? That's very real! And the bar is converted to a tea room in the afternoons, a a jazz lounge on Friday nights. I spent so much time there that it started to feel like home. I even wrote most of my first two novels there in Room 210.

Q: Since beginning this series, have you received any thank-you notes from Brides-to-Be for the helpful wedding tips you've included in each chapter?

Sandra: I've heard from several brides since Baker came out. My favorite feedback though was from a bride-to-be who asked if I'd consider planning her wedding!

Q: You did an admirable job keeping characters from Always the Baker true to their voices in Always the Wedding Planner but, with a cast that large -- and several new voices to contend with -- you couldn't keep them all. Who was the hardest character from Book One to leave out of Book Two?

Sandra: It was a challenge to create the sense of community that the book needed. But the saving grace for me was knowing that I would have two more books after Planner, and the characters that didn't have a lot of page time could always make up for it in later volumes. Emma's parents were my favorites from the first book that got much less story in the second one ... but I have plans for them! :-)

Q: I think I gained ten pounds while reading each of your books. Did you find your research to be a challenge to your waistline?

Sandra: Writing these books made me painfully aware of a major character flaw in me. I am REALLY susceptible to the power of suggestion! I write about brownies ... I want one! I mention red velvet cake, creme brulee, even hazelnut coffee ... and the cravings kick in.

Q: Who is more like you: Emma Rae Travis or Sherilyn Caine? Why?

Sandra: Well, Emma and I are both diabetics who are VERY fond of sweets. But I'm really much more like Sherilyn. Red hair, check. Weight problem, check. Detail oriented to the umpth degree, obsessed with chocolate, check and check. I don't think I really realized until I read the final draft how much of me ended up in Sherilyn's character.

Q: If you could invite one character from this series to your Thanksgiving celebration this year, who would it be? What would you ask them to bring?

Sandra: Well, hands down, it would be Emma. Thanksgiving would be appropriate to spend time with her since she's changed my life so much. And she would need to arrive at the door bearing CAKE, of course!!

Q: Describe your favorite of all the theme weddings you've written about or researched.

Sandra: When I was researching really unique, stand-out weddings, I saw one design that knocked my socks off. The theme was diamonds and, despite the fact that there were crystals and bling everywhere, it was so elegant and breathtaking. The only pop of color was sterling lavender. I've never seen anything else that got that kind of reaction out of me.

Q: Will there be a third book in this series? Who will be its main character(s)? And when will it release?

Sandra: There is a third and fourth book in this series! The next one, Always the Designer, Never the Bride, is about a struggling wedding dress designer who comes to The Tanglewood for the wedding of her best friend. The hero was introduced inPlanner -- J.R. Hunt, the tattooed motorcycle buddy of Russell Walker's. Audrey is a cool, edgy, tough-shelled match for him.

Designer will release next spring, and the fourth and final novel (Always the Baker, FINALLY the Bride) will follow in spring of 2013 when I get to give Emma and Jackson their happy ending at last! ... Or will I?? :-) In that final book, a lucky reader will get to help Emma choose her wedding cake, and that reader will be written into the novel as an actual character who has interaction with Emma Rae! Readers who are interested can find the details on my Web site ( from November 1st through the end of this year.

Let's get personal:

Q: What's on your nightstand?

Sandra: My Kindle; my Bible, a pot of silk violets and a round vintage mirror that my mom used to keep near her bed; a bottle of water; Bath & Body Works brown sugar and fig lotion.

Q: If you are stranded in a fully-stocked igloo near the North Pole, you would want to have these three luxury items at your fingertips:

Sandra: My Kindle; my laptop; and my emergency kit that contains Lip Therapy balm, tinted moisturizer and an eyelash curler.

Q: What are you reading now?

Sandra: Sedona Storm by my friend Barbara Scott.

Q: Do you prefer gum or hard candies?

Sandra: I like that dessert gum from Extra. They have flavors like mint chocolate chip, strawberry shortcake and apple turnover. No surprise that I like fake dessert gum, right?

Q: Sherilyn is not a fan of dogs. Are you a cat person or dog lover?

Sandra: I love most animals, but I have a special soft spot for dogs. I volunteer for some dog rescue groups and raise funds for one in particular.

Q: When you were five and grown-ups asked you what you wanted to be when you grew up, you told them you wanted to be:

Sandra: At five, I told them I wanted to be a ballerina. But it wasn't long after that when I decided I wanted to be a writer. At that age, however, that meant I really loved my penmanship class and enjoyed the actual act of WRITING.

Thanks for coming over and visiting with us, Sandra! It's been a treat!


Please leave a comment (below) telling me the colors (or theme) that would be featured in your dream wedding. Leave your comment between now and 11/20/11 and you will be entered to win a copy of Always the Wedding Planner, Never the Bride!
(and make sure to leave your contact info, as well!)


  1. Hello. Great interview! I enjoyed the first book very much. I look forward to reading the second. Thanks. Cheri themillersisters at gmail

  2. I think that the color theme that I would choose would be a white and teal with some brown accents. Thank you so much for the chance to win this. This sounds like an amazing book. Thanks again.


  3. Thanks Serena...i thought i had the ebook, but can't seem to open it. Hopefully i'll win it! i would choose blue as my color for the wedding (my dad's been gone to glory over 21 years already, and he really loved me in blue)so this would be a way to include him. Thanks for the giveaway and post.

  4. oops i tried posting that a few times, and then when it does, i forgot my email.


  5. Well My hubby and I eloped so I didn't get the chance to do the whole dream wedding so if I could I would choose periwinkle blue and champagne
    colors. Keep it very simplistic but soft and elegant. I'd love to read this! Thanks!


  6. That dessert gum is SO yummy!
    I have a soft spot for dogs too :)
    Great interview!
    (not an entry)

  7. Wow that diamond themed wedding sounds absolutely amazing! I can't even imagine how elegant and sophisticated that must have been. As for my wedding colors I would want nothing other than black and gold! Hahaha bet y'all would NEVER have guessed that one. :-P

    I'd love to be entered! Thank you so much.

    XOXO~ Renee C.

  8. Great interview! I enjoyed the first book. I can't wait to read the second. :-)

    Having had my dream wedding last fall, my colors were a very plummy purple and silver. I like the way it turned out.

    Thanks :-)


  9. Thanks for the great interview! You always ask such neat questions and it was great to know more about Sandra. Loved the first book and am looking forward to reading the second (hopefully soon!) If I had to choose wedding colors again at the moment I would probably choose a deep, dark purple and white with a few brown accents.

  10. Oops. Sorry I didn't follow the directions. My favorite color is blue, so I would pair it with white. Also, near the ocean would be awesome. Thanks. Cheri themillersisters

  11. Lovely interview, she sounds very down to earth.

  12. My dream colors would be white, cream, and mint green with possibly peach or pale pink accents, too.

  13. oh my gosh these covers are just too adorable!! i'd love to enter the contest! i need something sweet like this right now :) Thank you!!

    inthehammockblog at gmail dot com

  14. Dream colors would be royal purple and silver.
    I enjoy reading Sandra's books and would love to win a copy of this one. I liked reading the interview as well.


  15. Just want to remind everybody that if you want your entry in the contest to be valid, you need to make sure to leave a comment including your dream wedding colors or theme.

    And while we're on the subject...

    I had a Christmas wedding with dark blue velvet and gold. But if I had it to do over again, I'd be tempted to go with a "Fall Colors" theme with lots of rich oranges, bronze, and gold. But if I did my December 17th date again (and, just for the record, I would NOT recommend a December wedding to ANYONE -- it's way to hard to schedule anniversaries!)I would go with ice blue, crystal, silver, and spare touches of ice pink.

    I love all you guys's ideas for colors! Good luck!

  16. Great interview!!!

    It should come as no surprise to anyone that blue would be my color. ;) I had a Hawaiian(not in Hawaii, so it was fake) wedding, so there was actually different colors going on, but we definitely added in blue. My bouquet had blue roses in it, of course. :)

  17. I love this series!!!

    Me please...:P

  18. Forgot to say I would love to have a black and white flowers would be sunflowers..:D

    I didnt have a wedding (sobs)I was really young (19) and we just went to the Justice of Peace in our

  19. The colors in my wedding were peacock blue and yellow, which I just loved. The theme was antique-ish, shabby chic, eclectic...I never really figured out how to describe it, haha! But it was wonderful to me. :)

    Thanks for the opportunity to win!


  20. I don't plan to get married ever again. When I was young and got married my bridesmaids wore a light turquoise. I wore white. Flowers were white.

    lkish77123 at gmail dot com

  21. My wedding, 31 years ago, was over the Thanksgiving holiday and was autumn colors of burnt orange, red and brown. I would choose those colors again today. sdlbishop2(at)gmail(dot)com.

  22. a wonderful posting...the colours i would chose for my 'dream wedding' are classic black & white.

    thanks for the chance to read sandra's novels

    kmkuka at yahoo dot com

  23. Thanks everyone, for leaving your comments -- I can just imagine your beautiful dream wedding!! This contest is now closed and the winner will be announced soon!


I love comments more than Starbucks! Thanks for leaving one!


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