Shannon here: Brenda S. Anderson shares a romantic excerpt and a recipe for Latte from her latest Contemporary Women’s Fiction title with her former barista daughter, Sarah S. Anderson. Comment or answer the question in this post to enter the drawing for an ebook copy along with short story, Hot Cocoa Summers. Deadline: Dec 11th, 11:59 pm central time. Here’s Brenda!
Excerpt from Broken Together by Brenda S. & Sarah S. Anderson:
Summer of ’98
“How can I help you?” Chad Taylor grinned at the young woman with the Courtney Cox-like hairstyle. Seemed like everyone their age was mimicking that popular Friends series.
She squinted at the menu, frowned even, as if nothing looked good. If he made it, it would taste good. “Do you have anything other than coffee?”
Other than coffee? He stepped back as if she’d shoved him but maintained his smile. “You come into a coffee shop but don’t want coffee?”
“That’s correct.” She returned a smile, clearly confident in her reply, and continued surveying the menu. “I’ll have a hot cocoa.”
Hot cocoa? Cuppa Truth served the best coffee ever, made by the best barista ever. Him! And she wanted hot cocoa?
“Um, have you checked the weather?” He nodded toward the windows, which showcased people walking the sidewalks, all wearing as little as legally possible it seemed. “Not exactly a hot cocoa type of day.”
“Yet, people order hot coffee. How is that different?”
“How is that different?” He planted his hands on the counter in front of himself and bent toward her as the door to the shop opened, ushering in a river of hot air. “Does hot cocoa wake you from your morning stupor? Give you energy? Does it help you think better? Make the sun look brighter? Coffee soothes the soul! On top of that, it’s healthy. It’s full of antioxidants, helps your memory. It’s good for your heart. Word has it, it might even cure cancer. Best of all, it gives you the good sense not to murder those close to you.”
She chuckled at his slight exaggeration.
“I’m winning you over.” He always did. “So, tell me, what do you wanna try?” No doubt, she’d love anything he made.
“I’ll have a hot cocoa, please.”
You’ve got to be kidding me. He sighed and dramatically splayed his hand over his heart. “You have no idea what you’re missing.”
“And I’ll take whipped cream on top of my drink.”
“As you wish.” Shaking his head, he rang up her drink and told her the cost.
She handed him a five. “Keep the change.”
“’Preciate it. And your name?”
Jennifer? Nah, he’d call her Cocoa.
Chad’s Choco-Latte Recipe
- 2 shots of espresso
- 3/4 cup whole milk
- 3 tablespoons of milk chocolate (chips or sauce)
- 2 tablespoons English toffee sauce (Chad’s secret recipe)
- Whipped cream
- Steam milk with chocolate chips or sauce to 150°F
- Pull 2 espresso shots (Make sure your shots don’t sit longer than 20 seconds or they will expire!)
- Add English toffee sauce to the bottom of your cup or mug
- Add espresso shots to your toffee sauce
- Pour steamed milk into your cup or mug, making sure the milk hits the far side of your mug to help incorporate the ingredients
- Stir if needed
- Top with whipped cream and extra English toffee sauce if desired
About Brenda: Brenda S. Anderson writes authentic, gritty, life-affirming fiction that shows God at work in people’s messy lives. She enjoys live music and theater, walking the shores of Lake Superior, and sharing hot cocoa with friends and family. She lives near Minneapolis with her newly retired husband. Together, they plan to travel across the United States, checking items off their bucket list, beginning with a bus trip to Niagara Falls.
About Sarah: A former barista, Sarah S. Anderson loves all things coffee, so when her mother asked her to help with a book set in a coffee shop, the answer was an enthusiastic “Yes!” When not creating imaginary coffee shops, Sarah spends much of her time at the theater, either on stage acting, singing, and dancing, or offstage as musical director. While working full-time to support her theater habit, she is also studying for her Master’s with plans to teach high school English. She lives near the heart of Minneapolis with her two cuddly kitties.
Learn more & connect:
About the book – Broken Together:
How do you persevere when you have no more will to fight?
Jennifer and Chad Taylor had dreamed of opening a coffee and cocoa shop since before they said, “I do.” When Chad is sent to prison for murder despite claiming innocence, that dream—along with their family—is shattered.
After years of fighting for Chad’s release, Jennifer finally breaks free from her shame, anger, and hopelessness, and forges ahead with the dream the two of them once shared. With the help of their college-aged twins, she begins to move forward.
When their lawyer arrives with news of evidence that may prove Chad’s innocence, a strange mixture of emotions overtakes her. Does she want Chad to return home? He isn’t the same man he once was, and she certainly isn’t the same woman. She’s worked hard to piece the remnants of their family back together, and his coming home could fracture the family once again.
It all comes down to one question. She loves her husband enough to fight for his release from prison, but does she love him enough to fight for their marriage?
Can’t wait for the drawing? Worried you won’t win? Interested in Brenda’s other titles?
Get your copy/copies now!
Question for Readers: Chad Taylor loves coffee but his wife, Jenn, hates it and will always choose hot cocoa. Whose team would you be on? Team Chad? Team Jenn? Team Other? What’s your favorite way to make coffee, cocoa, or other?
Come back Dec 3rd for Liz Tolsma!