Thursday, September 29, 2011

Mary Manners Sweet Treats

Well, today I have a really sweet treat for you with an interview with the one and only Mary Manners of the Sweet Treats series with White Rose Publishing. And yes, they really are sweet treats!

So Mary, welcome! It's lovely to have you here. I have just a few questions, then of course we'll sample some of your sweet treats!

1. How old were you when you first heard/felt God in your life? (I'll admit, I was in my teens and I pushed Him away - as well as the person who was witnessing to me...while I was at a "Christian retreat"! But praise God, He gave me another chance - 30 years later!)
I was in the sixth grade, and I had a wonderful Sunday School teacher, the father of a dear friend, who taught me so much about the Bible and God's love. I still remember him fondly.

That's wonderful! I love hearing about people who have stayed close to God all their lives. What a wonderful walk it's been, I'm sure!
2. So, if you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be, and why?

Oh, my...I would live somewhere flat and open and very, very grassy. I love open farmland, and I'm scared to death of heights. Funny for a city-girl who grew up among skyscrapers of Chicago, but very true. It seems to get worse as I age, so flat and open is perfect for me!

Ok - well you can have that flat, grassy land, but I need forests and mountains and beaches. LOL I want it all! (I guess that's why I stay in New England!)
3. When/where do you feel closest to God?
I feel closest to God in the early, pre-dawn hours when I sit on my back porch with a cup of coffee. There's something about the stillness of the air before the world comes awake that makes me feel the presence of God. I love those quiet times.

Sounds wonderful! I can definitely understand that!

3. Do you have multiple story ideas around, or do you write one in completion before you let another one intrude?
Oh, I have so many ideas and not enough hours in the day! The characters always talk to me (my husband says I shouldn't share that, but I think fellow writers and readers will understand). Sometimes a character barges in before I'm ready, so I jot down ideas and get back to them as soon as I can.

Oh I certainly understand about those characters. Mine write their own stories. I just type what they tell me to!

4. How long does it take you to write a story? For instance, how long have these 2 books taken, start to finish?
I usually write 3,000 to 4,000 words a day, and love the days when 6,000 words leap right onto the page. The Sweet Treats series took me about seven months to write, including edits. Writing is such a passion of mine, that I feel like I'm transported to another world when I'm in my writing bubble. Everything around me just fades away.

5. How many more stories are left to these Sweet Treats, and when can we expect them?
There are two more stories due in the Sweet Treats series. Tessa's Teacakes releases November 8th, and Mattie's Meltaways will debut January 27th, 2012.
6. Do you already have plans for what comes after this series?
Oh, yes! Look for my Lone Creek Ranch series in 2012. It's the continuing story of the Merrill brothers--Carson, Dalton, Nick and Tanner, and the women they fall in love with.

7. Just one more question, did anything in particular inspire the Sweet Treats series? a love of baking - growing up with a baker...just love bakeries...I actually DREAMED the Sweet Treats bakery series! I was working on a collection idea, and went to sleep one night with idea whirling through my head. That's when Kate, Grace. Tessa and Mattie were born, and Sweet Treats came to be. It's one of the coolest things that's ever happened to me!

Well thank you for chatting, Mary, now let's have a peek at those stories!

Broken dreams...shattered hearts...a special recipe...
Following the tragic, sudden death of her parents, Kate Spencer broke off her engagement from high school sweetheart Logan Daniels, just weeks before their wedding. She chose, instead, to remain in Mount Ridge, Tennessee to raise her younger sisters and help keep the family together. Now, with her sisters grown, she spends her days at family-owned Sweet Treats Bakery, hiding a wounded heart in the sweet confections she creates.
Logan Daniels left town when Kate broke his heart, but now he's come home to claim what he lost four years ago, and he won't stop until he gets what he came for...Kate's kisses.


“Gather yourself, Kate..."
The bell over the shop door jangled as Logan stepped inside. His gaze found Kate, and when he
smiled, heat flared in her belly. To her utter dismay, her insides melted into a puddle of hot paraffin. She felt paralyzed as his gaze wavered between her and Mattie.
“Hello, Mattie.” His deep voice was as smooth as warm caramel.
“Logan.” Mattie’s gaze held his as she drew an apron from the box beneath the counter and tied it around her waist.
Kate knew by the way her sister twisted and re‐twisted the apron strings that Logan’s
sudden appearance had Mattie just as nervous, but Mattie seemed to dismiss the anxiety as she turned toward the stairs that led to the storage room. She waggled her fingers at Kate. “It’s…well…you two have a nice little chat. I’ll…be upstairs.”

Kates Kisses
5 chocolate covered cherry kisses Review
Ooh, real chocolate covered cherries!!! Ms. Manners has a very devious mind. These sweet treats will work their way into anyone’s heart!
The pain of the past hovers over Logan and Kat, both, and the way forward doesn’t seem clear to either one. But Logan continues to push forward, knowing he is still in love with Kate and determined to find a way.
Kate tries to hold back, not willing to risk the pain of losing Logan again. But where the heart’s concerned, the mind isn’t always in control.
This is another Sweet Treat winner. Great story! You don’t want to miss it!

Brent Peterson returns to Mount Ridge, Tennessee with a single goal-to win back Grace Spencer. He's loved her since kindergarten, and should have told her how he felt, but Dan Turner swooped in and stole Grace away before Brent had the chance. Now Grace is a widow with a young son, and while it's been three years since her husband's death, Brent isn't sure he should make his feelings known.
When Brent comes around the family bakery, Grace longs to restore their friendship, but the thin gold wedding band on her finger-and memories of Dan-stand between them.
Can Brent's gentle patience coax Grace to let go of her memories...and the ring, or is it time for Brent to move on alone, and leave Mount Ridge forever?
Brent couldn’t pull his gaze from Grace as she spooned lemon‐scented batter into a greased bread pan. Blonde hair spilled over her neck in a sassy blunt cut that kissed her shoulders as she moved gracefully between the counter and oven. Blue eyes sparkled in sunlight that cascaded through the front window of the bakery, but a hint of sadness lurked beneath. Brent knew she still thought of Dan, the husband she’d lost in a construction accident three years ago—Adam’s

And he aimed to change that. A pre‐dawn ride through cool mountain air in the Cove had cleared cobwebs from his head and strengthened his resolve. As the sun had risen over the horizon to kiss a clear blue morning sky, a need intensified that could no longer be denied.

He wanted Grace.
This is one story worthy of a 5 cupcake review!
Oh my goodness, with a simple sweet lemon cake, Ms. Manners demonstrates the deep love from a mother to her child. Grace has traveled a hard road and is happy with the life of mother and baker extraordinaire. When Brent sneaks into her heart by showing his love for her little boy, Adam, her heart melts like the icing on her cakes.
This is such a sweet read! The agony Grace feels, over choices past and present, just makes you want to cry and cheer as this story unrolls.
I just can't wait for the next two stories! Don't forget, Tessa's Teacakes releases November 8th, and Mattie's Meltaways will debut January 27th, 2012.
Come on over and enjoy a taste of the Sweet Treat Series.


  1. Welcome Mary, and thanks for stopping by. Did you bring some sweets??? wink wink

  2. Mary is having difficulty leaving a comment - if you are too, you have my apologies. Blogger must be female - and she's in one of those moods...

  3. Lovely interview and review, Donna. :-) Mary, I can relate to finding God in those restful, 'coming alive' hours of the morning. Love that! And, too many stories and not enough hours....oh, can I relate. I'm sooooo there right now. Wish I could carve out another 4 or 5 hours in a day just to dedicate to my writing. I love it so much - it's transporting, and uplifting, isn't it? :-) God bless!

  4. Thanks, Marianne. I wholeheartedly agree with all of that! Thanks for stopping in!

  5. Thanks for the wonderful post, Donna. I appreciate you! So glad blogger is in a better mood today. Thanks to you, too, Marianne!