She’s finally come home, but will she choose to stay?
After twelve years spent building her career in Los Angeles, Bailey Boone returns home to Ministry, Alabama, weeks before Christmas with a large cast and crew. She’s desperate for a miracle to save her company’s big budget holiday film that just lost its winter wonderland location. Bailey may have bolted from Ministry before the ink on her diploma dried, but her hometown definitely knows how to throw an unforgettable southern Christmas. Except she forgot about the ghosts of Christmas past she left behind—especially her first love, Seth.
Sheriff Seth McKay never forgot the girl he let go so many years ago. They were soulmates, but he knew Bailey needed more than Ministry could offer. Now she’s back and more stunning and confident than ever. Despite the years, their connection and chemistry still burn bright. Can Seth find his own Christmas miracle and convince Bailey to write her story in Ministry...with him?
Welcome, Susan! Congratulations on the release of your newest Alabama novel. What should readers expect from Noel, Alabama?
Hi PJ! Thanks so much for having me on The Romance Dish today! First, readers can expect a clean read. This one is a little different from the others in that there is no kissing (until the end), no cussing, and no sexy time. This was by design. BUT, in some ways, it challenged me to compensate by upping my skills so you wouldn’t miss a thing! Bailey and Seth’s story is rich in setting, emotion, and all the fun of small town Alabama! Oh, and the movies!
This is such a feel-good, second-chance story. Second-chance romances are among my favorites to read. What draws you to this trope as an author?
I think we all have a whisper of fantasy in our bones. Not in reality, but fantasy. It’s so delicious to think, “what if…” Second chance romances are all about the way things might have been.
I really enjoyed the behind-the-scenes look at turning Ministry into a movie location. It felt very authentic. What kind of research did you do for those scenes? Have you visited a movie set?
I have a friend from college who works as a producer in Hollywood. He was invaluable with information about how all the things worked (who would be on set and how it all might look) on my “set” in this book. Remember the producer, Brad? Well, the real producer Brad read my book and sent corrections when I went rogue. Also, Steel Magnolias was filmed in my college town when I was a senior. We got to watch all the glamour and fun of the sets and stars and how it all works.
This is your fifth book set in Ministry. Will there be more? Will Alexis find her happily ever after?
I don’t have the answer to this question yet! LOL!! But I loved Alexis and writing her story would be a pleasure!
The food in this book had my tummy begging to be fed. From the pizza to the chili to the fudge to the pot roast, I was on drool overload. Do you have a favorite comfort food or holiday treat recipe to share with us?
There is always a lot of food in my books. I love to cook. I’m happy to share an easy favorite:
This is a tried and true family favorite, and you can use lower fat cheese and ground beef to decrease the calorie and fat content should you desire.
Ma Ma Louis’s Casserole
(This is not a diet food)
1 pkg. Egg noodles or other pasta
1lb. to 1 1/2 lbs. lean ground beef
Small block Velveeta or Mexican Velveeta
1 can Ro*tel
1 Tbsp. flour
1-2 cubes chicken or beef bouillon (whatever kind of concentrate you prefer)
Tony Chachere's seasoning to taste (or use onion powder, garlic powder, salt, black pepper and dash red pepper.
1/2-1 tsp. Garlic (fresh, minced or powdered)
2 cups sharp cheddar
1 large yellow onion
Boil pasta according to package instructions, drain and set aside.
Brown the meat, add onion, bullion, seasonings, and garlic. Cook until onions are wilted.
Add Ro*tel and Velveeta in small cubes.
Cook on low heat until cheese is melted.
Spray a deep casserole dish with non-stick spray and layer noodles, meat mixture and shredded cheddar until gone. Top with any remaining cheddar.
Baked in 375 degree oven for 15-20 minutes.
Enjoy casserole season!
Where can readers interact with you online?
Let’s play a quick round of complete this sentence.
My favorite Christmas tradition is…Making and decorating cut-out Christmas cookies with my daughter…and whomever else will help!
A holiday sweet I’d eat a whole pan of is…fudge
The book I’m most eager to read is…Kimberly Belle’s Stranger in the Lake (loaded on my Kindle now)
The throwback movie I can’t resist watching again and again is…The Family Stone and The Grinch
The characteristic a hero must have to win my heart is…a great smile and an honest heart
Thank you for visiting with us today, Susan. Would you like to add anything else or ask our readers a question?
This was so much fun, PJ!
I love hearing about readers’ family holiday traditions or favorite holiday treats! I would love to give away a signed copy of my holiday novel, Christmas, Alabama to a commenter! (US)