Join Bonnie Engstrom and me today as we talk about the inspiration and creativity behind her latest novel, Butterfly Dreams.
What sparked your idea for the story/book?
Everyone asks me that, and my honest reply is “I have no idea.”
I believe it and the characters just popped into my head. It ‘might’ have come from the idea for my second book in the Desert Dreams series about a widow who finds love a second time. That book will either be titled Chance Meeting or Mickey’s Second Chance at Love.
What surprised you most as you wrote the story/book?
My characters always surprise me. Who would have known handsome Noel would truly fall in love with slightly overweight Betsy, or that her daughter Brie’s husband Derek would leave her? Or, that Muriel, the lady in the green sweater would be an old friend of Noel’s? Gosh, my characters are bossy!
What is something unexpected one of your characters did?
Everything flamboyant Bett does is unexpected. She is so conflicted about her faith. But Nurse Ratchit (aka Jones) and Dr. Duggins blatantly sharing their faith was a surprise, even to me.
What unexpected insight did you gain while writing your book?
That love truly can happen later in life, that middle-aged, even senior citizens, can and do fall in love, lasting love.
Betsy’s life is one crisis after another. She never wondered, or cared, who her birth parents were until her friend Bett confesses, “I have a child.” Bett and Betsy’s adoptive mother, Harriett, have been best friends since college. Could there be a connection?
Betsy resents that Bett secretly set her up with over-the-top handsome Noel with Crayon blue eyes, tons of dough, and a quirky psychological problem. But when her kitchen blows up, he saves her life – over the phone!
When daughter Brie shows up pregnant and abandoned by her husband, like Betsy’s husband, The Jerk, abandoned her when she was pregnant with Brie, Betsy takes charge. Noel could help, but will he? And, how does his old friend Muriel fit into the equation?
Will Betsy’s messy life ever get straightened out? How can she help Brie restore her marriage, as well as nurse Noel back to health from the flu with her leg in a cast, the leg she broke visiting him during one of his marathon hospital stays?
Will Noel turn out to be the hero Bett claims him to be and the lover Betsy hopes him to be? Or, will Noel disappoint her and become another butterfly dream?
Available on Amazon.
Need to be in control Kate meets take charge Lance during a National Cook Off in California, and sparks almost fly. How could the sponsors have scheduled the only two meatloaf contestants to share the kitchen at the same time?
After Kate boldly credits Christ for her cooking success on national television, the CEO of Family Foods professes his faith. Kate’s promotion to Global Outreach Minister at church threatens her relationship with Lance, and she still doesn’t know what he does for a living. But, his personal assistant, Felicity, does. “I know everything.”
Lance impulsively buys a house for them without Kate’s involvement, and sparks really do fly, practically putting an end to their romance. “I had no say in it!”
Hopefully, her Golden Retriever Sandy can save the day when the dog’s soulful, amber eyes approve of the house. “She wants a child in here to play with.”
Will these two ever be able to create magic in the kitchen when they’re still trying to figure out the recipe for Happily Ever After?
Sandy, Kate’s Golden Retriever, says “Support National Pet Appreciation Week and the author’s birthday!”
The E-book of A Winning Recipe is FREE from Saturday, June 6 through Wednesday, June 10 in honor of National Pet Appreciation Week (June 7-13) and the author’s birthday (that date is secret!) Check it out on Amazon and see how cute Sandy looks in a chef’s hat.
Bonnie Engstrom loves to write and she loves food, especially sushi and salad. She used to love to cook, but since her husband retired he took over as resident chef. Many of her stories are centered around food, two around Swedish food reflecting the couple’s heritage. She grew up in Pittsburgh, he in Chicago, and they met in Washington, D.C when they attended George Washington University. They raised their children in Southern California (that is a separate state from Northern California, isn’t it?), so several of her stories are set in Newport Beach where she was an advocate for education, mostly in PTA, for over thirty years.
She lives in Arizona with psychologist husband Dave of fifty years, is the mother of three grown children and the proud grandmother of six grandchildren, four of whom live in Scottsdale and two in Costa Rica on the beach! Pura Vida! Surf on!
The couple’s eldest son is an IT expert who taught his mother everything she knows about computer literacy. Unfortunately, he and his wife live in Maryland, too far to fly home for a weekend to help Mom as he used to when she lived in California and he in Arizona.