September 13, 2019

Giveaway, Review, & Guest post - Sweet Melody

On Tour with Prism Book Tours

Sweet Melody
(Seabrook Romance #1)
By Heidi McCahan
Christian Contemporary Romance
Paperback & ebook, 242 Pages
August 1st 2019

When a struggling bakery owner is rescued by a wannabe songwriter with hidden culinary talents, they discover they can make sweet harmony … if they can only learn to work together.

Rhett Foster longs to change the world with his music, yet he can’t even finish writing one song. Battered by a string of failures and disillusioned, he returns home to Portland, Oregon. While he desperately wants to create a chart-topping hit, his dad mandates a new mission: move to coastal vacation hotspot Seabrook, Washington and expand the family’s successful restaurant chain.

In danger of destroying her late parents’ legacy if she doesn’t diversify her menu, Lindsay Carmichael will try anything to save her bakery. But with a tiny budget and an injured employee who can’t work, she has no choice but to sink the last of her savings into buying a dilapidated food truck and hiring Rhett as a part-time barista. What she doesn’t know is that the handsome songwriter has a secret … one that could destroy her business and her heart.

(Affiliate links included.)

My Review:

I had so much fun reading this sweet story! Though Sweet Melody is light and fun, it still carries plenty of substance. 

For whatever reason, I enjoy reading stories that involve bakeries. I also love coastal settings. Well, this story fills both those slots! Seabrook is a breathtaking backdrop and I feel as if I’ve been there. Lyndsay is so easy to sympathize with and Rhett is a wonderful character as well. The story has just enough tension, and a satisfying conclusion.

I enjoy so many genres, and sweet contemporaries are growing closer to the top of the list. This is the first book I’ve read by Heidi McCahan, and I plan to seek out more of her work. Her writing style is easy to read, and her characters are well developed.

#SweetMelTour #PrismBookTours #Giveaway #Books #BookReview

Author: Heidi McCahan
Publisher: Snug Corner Cove Press
Series: Seabrook Romance Book #1
Pages: 217
First Line: It was worse than she thought.
Source: I received a complimentary copy of this book as part of Prism Book Tours. Opinions expressed are completely my own.

About the Author

Heidi secretly dreamed of writing a book for most of her childhood, but a particularly painful rejection letter in middle school convinced her to tuck that dream away. Instead, she earned a Bachelor’s degree in Sports Medicine from Whitworth University in Spokane, Washington and a Master’s Degree in Athletic Training from the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga. After a brief career as a Certified Athletic Trainer, Heidi married her husband Steve, then she dusted off her big dream of becoming a published author and launched her first contemporary romance into the world in 2014. A huge fan of coffee, dark chocolate, and happily ever after, Heidi currently lives in North Carolina with Steve, three active boys and one amazing Goldendoodle.

Guest Post

A shout out to the brilliant soul who created the cake pop! Cake on a stick? Yes, please. In real life, I listen to a podcast that features a woman who used to make cake pops for a living, but didn’t own a bakery. It was more of a side hustle that made her friends and family happy. That’s how cake pops ended up playing a supporting role in Sweet Melody, because I needed a treat that appealed to a wide variety of customers and symbolized the happiness and contentment Lindsay longs to offer her customers at Sugar Buzz. Like Lindsay says in Sweet Melody, “Who doesn’t love a cake pop?”
There are easier recipes available online, yet I’m partial to Sally’s Baking Addiction because she makes the entire cake pop from scratch. If you prefer a gluten-free option, visit the link to her website and the proper modifications are featured in the comments.
Homemade Cake Pops
Recipe by: Sally McKenney, via Sally’s Baking Addiction
Visit Sally’s website for complete instructions:

Prep time: 2 hours                                                       Baking time: 36 minutes
Total time: 6-7 hours                                                  Yield: 40 pops

1 and 2/3 cups all-purpose flour (spoon and leveled)
½ tsp baking powder
¼ tsp baking soda
½ tsp salt
½ cup unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
1 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg, at room temperature
2 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 cup of whole milk (or buttermilk)

40 ounces of candy melts or coating (or pure white chocolate)

1.    Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and grease a 9-inch springform pan.
2. Make the cake: Whisk the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt together in a medium bowl. Set aside. Using a hand-held or stand mixer fitted with a  paddle or whisk attachment, beat the butter and sugar together in a large bowl until creamed, about 2 minutes. Add the egg and vanilla extract and beat on high speed until combined. Scrape down the bottom and sides of the bowl as needed.
3. With the mixer running on low speed, add the dry ingredients and milt to the wet ingredients until combined. Manually whisk the batter to ensure there are no large lumps at the bottom of the bowl. Batter will be slightly thick. Pour the batter evenly into the prepared pan. Bake for 30-36 minutes or until toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. If the top begins browning too quickly in the oven, loosely place a piece of aluminum foil on top.
4. Allow the cake to cool completely in the pan set on a wire rack.
5. Make the frosting: With a handheld or stand mixer fitted with a  paddle attachment, beat the butter on medium speed until creamy, about 2 minutes. Add confectioners sugar, heavy cream, and vanilla extract with the mixer running on low. Increase to high speed and beat for 3 full minutes. 
6. Crumble the cooled cake into the bowl on top of the frosting. Making sure there are no large lumps. Turn the mixer on low and beat the frosting and cake crumbles together until combined.
7. Measure 1 Tablespoon of moist cake mixture and roll into a ball. Pl.ace balls on a lined baking sheet. Refrigerate for 2 hours or freeze for 1 hour. Re-roll the chilled balls to smooth out, if needed. Place back into the fridge as you'll only work with a couple at a time.
8. Melt the coating in a 2-cup liquid measuring cup (best for dunking!) You can use a double boiler or microwave.
9. Coat the cake balls: Remove only 2-3 cake balls from the refrigerator at a time. Dip a lollipop stick about 1/2 inch into he coating, then insert into the center of the cake ball. Only push it about halfway through the cake ball. Dip the cake ball into the coating until it is completely covered. Make sure the coating covers the base of the cake ball where it meets the lollipop stick. Very gently tap the stick against the edge of the measuring cup to allow excess coating to drop off. Decorate the top with sprinkles and place upright into a styrofoam block or box (as explained above.) Repeat with remaining cake balls, only working with some out of the refrigerator at a time. The cake balls must be very cold when dipping!
10. Coating will set within an hour. Store cake pops in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.
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Tour Giveaway

One winner will receive a signed paperback with bookmark, $10 Amazon gift card, Sticky Fingers Strawberry Scone mix and a Seabrook Sea, Salt and Surf 100% soy wax candle from Hometown candle company.
US only
Ends September 18, 2019

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