Thursday, March 13, 2008

"Sweet Caroline" by Rachel Hauck Interview and Giveaway!

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Sweet Caroline by Rachel Hauck

This week, the

Christian Fiction Blog Alliance

is introducing

Sweet Caroline
(Thomas Nelson February 12, 2008


Rachel Hauck


I graduated from Ohio State University (Go Buckeyes!) with a degree in Journalism. As a member of Phi Mu sorority, I partied my way though the last few years of college.

But, the truth is, and always will be, I belong to Jesus. At the age of six, I knelt at the altar of a Tulsa Methodist church and gave my life to the One who loves me.

After graduation, hired on at Harris Publishing as a software trainer, determined to see the world. And I did it without a laptop, a cell phone, an IPod or portable DVD player. Those were hard times.

But, I traveled to Ireland, Spain, Venezuela, Mexico, Australia, Canada and the U.S. from California to Maine. But, life on the road is difficult. Working twelve to fourteen hour days, one doesn't get to see many of the sites. In Ireland, our company's distributor drove me around at night so I could see something of Dublin.

I met Tony, my husband, in '87, at church, of all places. We got married in '92. Tony has been a pastor for twenty years. I've worked with him in eighteen of those twenty. Our heart is to see teens and adults passionate, radical and whole hearted for Jesus.

Tony and I don't have any children of our own, lots of kids-in-the-Lord and we love them all. However, we do have a very spoiled dog, and an even more spoiled cat.

I've always wanted to be a writer. My dad used to tell me, "You're a writer." I have letters he wrote me post college, exhorting me to write. In this, I believe he had the heart of God.

In '93, I started an epic WW2 novel with two plots. It was well rejected. After that ordeal, I took a break and put efforts into my job as a software project manager. But, I missed writing and in late ' 99, I took up the craft again.

With a little help from my friends, my first book was published in ' 04, Lambert's Pride, a romance novel. I love writing chick lit and romance. I love writing. What an honor.

Rachel has several other books that have been received with great praise, including Diva Nash Vegas and Lost In Nash Vegas

You can purchase copies of Rachel's books, signed personally for you,
at this site: Signed by the


When a Southern waitress inherits the Lowcountry cafe where she works, she suddenly has to balance more than just her next food order.

Caroline Sweeney has always done the right thing--the responsible, dependable thing--unlike her mother who abandoned her family. But when her best friend challenges her to accept an exciting job adventure in Barcelona, Spain, Caroline says "yes" to destiny.

Then, without warning, ownership of the run-down cafe where she's been waitressing falls right into Caroline's lap. While she's trying to determine the cafe's future, handsome Deputy Sherriff J.D. Rand captures Caroline's heart.

But when her first love, Mitch O'Neal, comes back to town, fresh from the heat of his newly-found fame as a country music singer in Nashville, Caroline must make some hard choices about love and the pursuit of the sweet life.

Now dear readers, let's meet Rachel Hauck...

1) Rachel, I'm so glad to have you back at Cornhusker Academy today to discuss your newest book, and one of my new favorite books, Sweet Caroline! This is definitely a situation where I was really privileged to read a copy before it was released and I have to admit that I was so engrossed in this book that I did not put it down once I started it. Let's see how you, Rachel Hauck, compare to my new favorite heroine - Caroline... I have to know - Caroline lives in Beaufort, South Carolina - is this a real place and what is your connection to South Carolina? Or did you just pick it because it makes a clever play on words with Sweet Caroline?

RH: Beaufort, SC is a very real place and I highly recommend visiting. It's in the beautiful lowcountry and by the Marine base, Parris Island.

I heard about Beaufort from a friend, so I investigated and decided to set a book there. The Chamber of Commerce was very good to me.

2) When we are introduced to Caroline she is working at Frogmore Cafe - Home of Bubba's Buttery Biscuits and planning on finally moving on with her life. Caroline is one of these precious people who just can't say no when someone else is in need, so she has spent years putting other people's needs ahead of her own. Her time has finally come... or has it? Are you one of those "yes men" that just can't say no when someone has a need?

RH: I am always willing to help others, but I guard my heart and time. But I don't say yes readily or feel responsible for others happiness. But I also love to get in there and help out. I love to serve those in need.

3) I fell in love with Caroline's sweet spirit because unlike some people that can't say no, but then walk around like martyrs because of their dreadful sacrifice for the sake of someone else, Caroline did things for people because she didn't want to let anyone down if it was possible that she could make a difference... she takes on the ownership and running of the Frogmore Cafe just so the employees there won't lose their jobs and the Cafe won't be shut down. Have you ever made a sacrifice for someone else, even when it was inconvenient for you (I guess its not really a sacrifice unless its inconvenient is it?)...

RH: Six months after I got married one of my brothers moved in. We let him live for free as he got established. For the next six years, we had someone living with us, rent free.

I would certainly call that sacrifice for newlyweds - may God bless you for that sacrifice :-)

4) I think what makes Caroline so easy to relate to is that she starts out flawed, we never get the impression that she is perfect or even trying to be perfect, she's just genuine. She doesn't always make the right choice, but she tries. Then her first love, Mitch, comes back from Nashville - a superstar. She waited in vain for him and his promises after he first left years ago. The question now is - can she trust him, let alone give him a second chance? Oh and by the way, she is dating the incredibly handsome deputy - J.D. - how is that going to work into things? So Rachel, tell us a little about the love of your life and how you met...

RH: Wow, Janna, how much time and space do you have? :) I met my husband at church - he was the youth and singles pastor. He became my best friend over a few years and this month we celebrate our sixteenth anniversary.

Of all the people I know, he 's the one I want to be with the most.

5) Caroline has a best friend, Elle, that is there for her no matter what - do you have a "stick with you" friend like that in your life?

RH: Jesus is a friend like that. It sounds corny sometimes because people toss it out there so casually, but He really is a friend.

My husband is also that kind of friend. A lot of my girlfriends have come and gone, but I have several who would come if I called. And vice versa.

6) Caroline has a once in a lifetime opportunity to go to Barcelona, Spain and work for a year with a Donald Trump type guy. One of her big debates in this book is - does she go or does she stay? Have you ever ventured out of the safe and expected and done something totally incredible like that in your life?

RH: I've traveled a lot in my life, taken a few chances. I went to the university of my choice, from Florida to Ohio. Graduated and took a job in Florida where I traveled all over, by myself.

Taken the subway in Caracas and New York.

I would've had no problem if I were Caroline choosing Barcelona! :)

7) Like Caroline, I have waited tables before and actually was in the food business most of my life - personally I think everyone should have to wait tables at least one week out of their lives just so they can sympathize when they have a waiter or waitress that is having a bad day :-) Tell us about an interesting job you had at some point in your life...

RH: You know, I've never been a waitress, but always wanted to do it for a month or so. I once worked at Quincy's Steakhouse as the salad prep girl. I did really hate that job, but I was saving money for school.

For ten years I was the waitress counterpart, a cashier. I still love to go to the grocery store.

My corporate job was interesting, computer trainer with lots of travel.

8) Now I am glad to hear that this is not the last we have heard of Caroline - where and when will we see her next?

RH: We see her in Love Starts With Elle, but it's really Elle's story, I think readers will like seeing a deeper side of Elle. But, we find out what happens between Mitch and Caroline.

This book is one of my new favorites and I highly recommend that everyone run out and get a copy - it will not disappoint! You can go here
The book link is:
and be sure to leave a comment here for a chance to win a copy of Sweet Caroline from Rachel herself. Tell us about the most interesting job you've ever had and then leave a way to get in touch with you (dear people, this means put your e-mail address on there please :-) and you will be entered for the drawing!

After I read most of the books that I review I let my mother-in-law read them and we discuss them afterwards. When she finished Sweet Caroline this was her comment...

"This was such a good book that I couldn't put it down and it was a rare book that was a true joy to read, not a task!" - Grandma Sue


stampedwithgrace said...

oh, this book sounds so good! please enter me, thanks :)

Karin said...

Please enter me-- thank you. Sounds like an interesting book!

Carolynn W. said...

Fun interview! Please enter me, thanks:)

Daniela6968 said...

Putting this one my to read list. Thanks for the chance to win the book! :)

ladystorm said...

Great Interview! I would like to be entered into the drawing for this book, it sounds interesting.

ladystorm282001 at yahoo dot com

Donna Moore said...

Wonderful interview. Please enter me in your drawing.


Doreen said...

Oh this sounds like a wonderful read!! Loved the interview! The most interesting job I've ever is probably working where I am now--in a Special Needs School. Would love to be entered for this drawing!

Julie Lessman said...

Hey Janna and Rachel, LOVE the interview and really, really would like to win this book!!

The most interesting job I've ever had was my very first job at 16 -- I was a concession girl at a brand new movie theatre that opened with the re-release of Gone With the Wind and YES ... my first week on the job I got to dress up like Scarlet O'Hara!! Sigh. It's all been downhill from there ... :)


gsus at charter dot net

Anonymous said...

Sounds interesting! Please enter me in the drawing. Thanks.


Anonymous said...

Can't wait to read this one! Please enter me.

bookwurm70 [at] yahoo [dot] com

Anonymous said...

What a wonderful and enjoyable interview that was. Please enter me in the drawing. My most interesting job was when I did customer service work for a Prayer Team.


Carole said...

My most interesting job was the one I held for several years - worship assistant at my church. It involved selecting music, sermon research, and playing the piano. Every day was fun!

Thank you for the opportunity to win a copy of this book. It sounds wonderful.

cjarvis [at] bellsouth [dot] net

TK said...

This author has a very interesting travel life, great material for writing. I look forward to reading her book. Please enter me in the drawing. Thanks TK. vcw1476[at]gmail[dot]com

Cherie J said...

Ooh! Sounds like a great book! Please enter me in the drawing.

Lora Lease said...

Please enter me in the drawing.

Hmmmmm.... most interesting job? I think my unpaid "job" of homeschooling, stay-at-home mom to 9 precious kiddos, is the MOST interesting (and fun, enjoyable, fulfilling, unpredictable, etc...).

Megan said...

Time to celebrate!
You want to know why? Well first of all because it is my UNbirthday.
But why else?
Because I have been looking all over for a contest of this book and now I found it.
Thank you, thank you, thank you.
I really want to read this book.

The most interesting job I ever had was calling people who used to go to my high school and ask them for money. I know it doesn't sound that fun, but I would have all these really interesting conversations about my life, their life, and what had changed at the school since they went there.


Hannah said...

i'd love to win a copy! hsmuda[at]gmail[dot]com i worked at six flags in college. it was a very entertaining job

windycindy said...

Hello, In following this author's interviews and book reviews, I would enjoy reading her new book! Please enter me in your drawing. Thanks,Cindi

anne said...

A thoroughly fascinating interview and a wonderful novel. A job that I enjoyed greatly was teaching grade 1. Loved every minute of the fun, the kids and the environment.

ruth said...

this book sounds so appealing. I found the interview interesting.
The job of dog sitting was a great one. The dogs were well behaved and small and I had a chance to be outside in the fresh air and exercised. rojosho {at} hotmail {dot}com

diane said...

This story is really captivating and wonderful. I would enjoy this book. Interview was very interesting. My job in a library was fun. I would meet a variety of characters whose stories were always quite something. I loved being near all those books.

jenna said...

Interesting interview. Quite a lot of travel which is impressive and I envy. My best job ever was during the summer when I had the opportunity to work in an art institute giving art classes to young students. Su much fun.

Anonymous said...

Looks like a great read--

Please enter me in the drawing


Marilyn said...

What a great book! I would have to say the most interesting job I had was when I worked at a nursing home. Everday I always had some really funny stuff happen it sure made some great stories.


becca dowling said...

I'm intrigued; please enter me in the drawing for Rachel's book.

As for an interesting or unique job, once a man asked me to help him type and edit his essays for a distance learning class on reading and comprehension. What he really wanted me to do was "ghostwrite" them for him. I was not comfortable with that and quickly quit.


Stacey said...

Gotta love Rachel! The "Nash Vegas" books are terrific! Please enter me in the drawing. Thanks.

Oh, almost forgot - most interesting job: I worked for 8 years at NASA-Langley Research Center in Hampton, Virginia on an IT contract in various capacities. FASCINATING...