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Musings and Ramblings

Of a self professed bookworm and geek girl.

Guest Post and Almost Review: How to Bake the Perfect Pecan Pie by Gina Henning

How to Bake the Perfect Pecan Pie

Home for the Holidays, #1
Gina Henning

Genre: Contemporary Holiday Romance
Publisher: Carina
Date of Publication: November 7, 2014
Word Count: ~54,000

Available at the following retailers:
Amazon     BN     Kobo     ARe     eBooks     iTunes

Just $1.99 at most retailers


A warm pie. A tasty guy. Happy Thanksgiving indeed.

Lauren Hauser is home for the holidays, and she’s been given a challenge: preparing her grandmother’s pecan pie. The problem? Lauren’s not famed for her baking skills. In fact, while her sister would win Star Baker every week, and her mom at least knows a sieve from a spatula, Lauren’s bakes have always been more dangerous than delicious!

Still, no Thanksgiving would be complete without dessert…which is why Lauren finds herself searching for pecans on Thanksgiving Eve. Stumbling into a gorgeous stranger laden down with bags of pecans seems like a holiday miracle…but despite Jack’s kissable lips he’s frostier than a snow cone…and out of sight before she can say ‘Macy’s Parade’!

As the clock counts down to Thanksgiving dinner, Lauren is running out of time. And without her grandmother’s perfect pecan pie it won’t be a very Happy Thanksgiving! What Lauren needs is a knight in shining armour. And it might just be that the magic of Thanksgiving will find her one after all…

Review (Almost): 

Back in August I received a request from the author to see if I was interested in reviewing her book. Now as I am sure all the other bloggers out there know, we can get inundated with requests. Requests that are lengthy, full of verbose bragging about how awesome their book is and why it would be perfect for us even though it's not even in a genre we read.

That was not the case with Ms. Henning. I got this short, but sweet little email asking if I was interested in reading her book with a link to get more information. Simple, yet effective. The book at the time was titled Going Pecans and looked right up my alley. So she sent it to me and I read it and enjoyed it.  My biggest complaint... it wasn't long enough, I wanted more.  So we set a date to do the review and we set up a Guest Post to go with it.  Then something completely awesome happened for her.... The book was picked up by Carina UK, retitled and almost 20k worth of words was added. Yeah!!!

However this meant that the date we had agreed on got pushed back until November to fall more in line with the release date.  And that my good friends is when things on my end, went a bit off track. I kept waiting for the book to show up on Netgalley, but ummm... yeah. I don't know if I missed it, or they didn't post it, but I haven't actually gotten to read the new updated version.

So.  This is my 'almost' review.  The original story was good. I liked it. I would have given it 3 stars. Like I said, my biggest complaint was that I thought it wasn't long enough. It needed just a bit more, even keeping in mind that this is a series with another book coming out for Christmas.  With the additional 20k words, I have a feeling that has been taken care of. If you are looking for a Thanksgiving story to fill in with all those Christmas ones... Grab this one. I know I will be.

Guest Post: 

Music is such a magical thing. Hearing a song or lyric can evoke a strong emotion, a memory, a thought, and even cause movement. I like to dance and though most people would probably prefer I didn’t, I also enjoy singing karaoke.

My first music concert was to see…wait for it…New Kids on the Block! Yes, that’s right, I was singing Step by Step ooh baby. My bangs were teased and in the form of a wave, sprayed together by gobs of aerosol. I had on some stonewashed jeans and a neon-esque shirt to match. The concert was in Frankfurt, Germany, and I was in middle school, it was definitely a coming of age experience. My next concert didn’t happen until I was in high school and was on a date with my now husband. He took me to see Pearl Jam. I wore a Bazooka Joe shirt that I had ordered from the gum wrappers and a pair of shorts, and thought I was pretty awesome in my retro assemble. My husband wore a t-shirt advertising another band and I found this to be odd, but he informed me this is what “the cool concert goers do”. What did I know? It was only my second concert. We recently saw Pearl Jam at ACL(Austin City Limits Festival), this time my husband and I both were fashioned much like Johnny Cash. I tiptoed thorough the crowds of young and old faces as the ground was muddy and I had not planned accordingly, pro-tip don’t wear sandals to a concert. But alas the music was great.

Writing while listening to music helps me escape into the story, especially, when I can plug in my earphones. I dive deeper into the zone and am unaware of the happenings around me. When I’m writing a scene, I can hear the melody of different tunes in the background around the characters or what they are hearing in their own head. Throughout How to Bake the Perfect Pecan Pie, Lauren references different songs. Lauren’s musical tastes cross over various different genres depending upon her mood or how she perceives a certain situation. Sometimes it’s just a lyric other times the tempo is playing in her mind.

Given this I have created a playlist for How to Bake the Perfect Pecan Pie. Some of these songs have actual references in the story and some are songs I could hear playing as I wrote. Less than half of these songs are songs I actually listened to as I was writing, if this gives you any insight as to how I write.

How does music make you feel? What song would be playing in the background during a montage scene of your life? Tell me in the comments!

Playlist One 



Playlist Two 
Playlist Three 
Playlist Four

Author Bio:

Gina Henning currently resides where bluebonnets line the highways in the spring, but she prefers the rock flower anemone from under the sea. Above the ocean’s surface Gina likes to dance with her three boys and travel to exotic places like the grocery store with her husband. Her pooch Schatzi is a mix between German Shepherd and possibly pig. One of Gina’s favorite pastimes is running. She recently completed her one-and-done marathon. At the end of the day her glass of wine is always half-full.

To connect with the author online:

Website | Blog | Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest | Google+ | Instagram | Goodreads

Source: http://judy-ree.blogspot.com/2014/11/guest-post-review-how-to-bake-perfect.html