Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Blog Tour: The Paris Connection by Cerella Sechrist (Author Interview)

Sparks are flying in the city of light…

Emma Brooks, single mom and managing director at the leading recruiting firm in Paris, was against their merger with an American company from the start. Not only was her firm losing its autonomy, she was losing her well-deserved promotion to Cole Dorset – a handsome, arrogant interloper from New York!

How did Cole’s ex-girlfriend’s dream of moving to Paris become his nightmare? Now he’s got to find his way in a new country, and the woman showing him the ropes wants to string him up by one. But as he gets to know Emma and her daughter, he realizes Paris may have more to offer than he thought…

Released March 1, 2014 from Harlequin Heartwarming

E-book available for purchase on Amazon and Barnes & Noble

Welcome to Vonnie’s Reading Corner!

1.     In one sentence, tell us what The Paris Connection is about:

Emma Brooks must help her new boss, Cole Dorset, adjust to life in Paris after he’s given the promotion that was meant to be hers following their company’s merger. 

2.     Give us one unique fact about your main character Emma.

Emma first came to Paris after college, as an au pair for a French family. She met her (now-ex) husband, and after her time as an au pair was finished, chose to stay in the city. 

3.     Why did you pick Paris to be this book’s setting?

I didn’t! I never planned to tell Cole’s story at all, actually. But the editors at Heartwarming found Cole’s character in Gentle Persuasion so charming that they asked if I’d be interested in telling his story. I agreed, thinking I’d set the story in the United States, but after reading through the initial plot, they requested moving the setting to Paris. I was a bit uncertain about this at first, because I’ve never been to Paris, but it worked out for the best! Paris was the perfect backdrop to tell Cole and Emma’s story. 

4.     What is your favorite scene is this book?

Probably the last one (before the epilogue) because it’s very sigh-worthy romantic. It has the Eiffel Tower in the background, scrumptious macarons, and more. But of course, you’ll have to read the book to find out the rest!

5.     How is food connected to this book?

The French culture is very much celebrated for its love of flavorful food, and though the story itself doesn’t have a food “theme”, I really enjoyed getting to insert French meals into different parts of the story. I think food can be as important as setting to a story – it’s part of why I started my author blog, Literary Fare, because I love how food can convey poverty, luxury, or even just basic emotion. One line that got deleted from the book was a good example of this. Emma is struggling with a feeling of betrayal from her best friend, and as she’s waiting for her at their favorite coffeeshop, there was this description: “The cafĂ© au lait was turning cold and bitter.”

Just that one line (which unfortunately, didn’t make it into the final copy of the book!) spoke volumes about how Emma was feeling at that precise moment as she waited to confront her friend.

6.     What does food mean to you?

Much like what I mentioned above, I think food has the capacity to reflect our emotions. Comfort food means we’re in need of comforting – either from a bad day, or loss, or simply because we need a sense of security in the moment. I also feel like food is an act of giving – you bake cookies for a friend because you want to do something for them. It may not cost you much, but the time involved speaks a whole other language: I’m giving you this because of how much you matter to me. Food is such a basic need, and that can often unify people. 

7.     What is your favorite thing to cook? Bake?

I’m not much of a baker, unfortunately. I don’t possess the exacting skill baking needs – I’m too much of a “pinch here, dash there” sort of cook. But I love to make homemade pizza. There’s something so satisfying about making your own dough (I cheat, though, and use a bread machine!) and then adding different herbs to the sauce and cheese. I love making pizza for my friends, and they really seem to love it when I do! 

8.     What's your favorite love story? (movie or book)

I love the film, The Last of the Mohicans, and for books, I’ll stick with the classics and say, Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice.

9.     If you were a chocolate, what would you be? Why?

A chocolate-covered marshmallow. Because I have a sweet exterior, and I’m a total creampuff inside. :) 

10.                        What is your favorite motivational phrase?

I like to document motivating quotes on my Pinterest board at http://www.pinterest.com/cerellasechrist/motivation-inspiration/

I think my current favorite on there is: “Your dream doesn’t have an expiration date. Take a deep breath and try again.”

It took me thirteen years to get published from the time I first started submitting manuscripts. And then, I had a dry spell of a few years following the release of my debut novel. Some days, it’s good to remind yourself that dreams don’t expire. :) 

Thank you for taking the time to answer my questions!


Thank you so much for participating in the blog tour, Vonnie! Answering your questions was my pleasure!

About the Author

Cerella Sechrist lives in York, Pennsylvania with two precocious pugs, Darcy and Charlotte, named after Jane Austen literary characters. She has won various competitions and a scholarship for her writing, which include devotionals, full-length plays, and novels. She divides her time between working in the office of her family’s construction business and as a barista to support her reading habit and coffee addiction. Her novels exhibit her love for both the written word and food in fiction. You can find her online at her website www.cerellasechrist.com where she pens Literary Fare, a food-themed blog for readers. You can also connect with Cerella on FacebookTwitterGoodreads,Pinterest, and Instagram.

Giveaways (Note: open to US and Canada residents only.)

There are awesome prize packages up for grabs during the tour, with lots of fun ways to enter! These giveaways are open to residents of theU.S. & Canada only. The two winners (one for each prize pack) will be announced on Saturday, March 8th.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

For the "Bon Voyage" giveaway, you'll need to find the passport pins in the blog tour posts (links in the schedule above) and share them on Pinterest. Feel free to e-mail Amber at amberstokes@editingthroughtheseasons.com if you're having trouble finding the pins or figuring out how to share them! You can also check out an example of how this works by following Amber's The Paris Connection Tour Pinterest page (updated throughout the week). 

To get you started, here's the 04 March passport stamp:

The next four will be posted each of the remaining days of the tour on the participating blogs. Pin them all to get as many entries as you can in the giveaway! 

a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. This was such a fun interview, Vonnie! Thanks for featuring me on your blog! :)

  2. I agree - a really fun interview! You asked some great questions, Vonnie. :) So glad to have you be a part of the blog tour!