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Wednesday, July 01, 2009

Spotlight on Allie Pleiter and Bluegrass Blessings


ALLIE PLEITER is an avid knitter, coffee junkie, and devoted chocoholic, who writes both fiction and non-fiction. The enthusiastic but slightly untidy mother of two, Allie spends her days writing books, doing laundry, running carpools, and finding new ways to avoid housework. She grew up in Connecticut, holds a BS in Speech from Northwestern University, spent fifteen years in the field of professional fund-raising, and currently lives in suburban Chicago, Illinois. The “dare from a friend” to begin writing nine years ago has given rise to a career spanning two parenting books, eight novels including the multi-nominated MY SO-CALLED LOVE LIFE, and THE PERFECT BLEND.

by Allie Pleiter
Published by Steeple Hill/Love Inspired


Everyone in Middleburg, Kentucky lines up for baker Dinah Hopkins’s cinnamon rolls. Everyone except her handsome new landlord, Cameron Rollings. The jaded city man doesn’t like anything about small-town life--from the fresh air to her fresh-baked snickerdoodles. And he clearly considers Dinah as quirky as her eccentric oven. The way to Cameron’s heart is not through his toned stomach. But the Lord led him to Kentucky Corners for a reason. And Dinah plans to help him count his bluegrass blessings.

Buy Your Copy of Bluegrass Blessings today!


1. What gave you the inspiration for this story?

I end up with such unusual plot lines that I get asked this a lot. I don’t really know where the stories come from, and frankly, I’m afraid if I analyze the inspiration too deeply it’ll dry up and go away (classic author paranoia, you know). The opening scene invaded my brain one night, pure and simple. Of course, I knew Dinah’s basic character from the other Middleburg books in the series, and from there it’s usually a game of opposite’s attract. Boy, are they opposite, and boy, do they attract!

2. How much of your own experiences influenced your characters? What aspects became traits that are theirs and theirs alone?

Well, I can’t bake to save my life, even though I’m a competent cook. Without giving away too much of the plot, I have received an earth-shattering phone call like Dinah gets, so that “upended world” sensation is one I’ve lived through. And many people who know me well would argue that I share Dinah’s crazy artistic nature. I also am a bit of a control freak (conflict, anyone?), so Cameron’s “must manage” nature is part of mine. I suppose it goes without saying that I’m fond of cookies...and muffins...and scones...

3. If one of your characters were an ice cream flavor, what would he/she be and why?

Dinah would be something extreme and mixed up, like Rocky Road or one of the zillions of combinations from Coldstone. Perhaps something with nuts and strawberry in it as a nod to her wild red hair.
Cameron I think of as a mint-chip kind of guy--basic but with more pizzaz than you give him credit for at first.

4. Are there any themes in Bluegrass Blessings that you hope the reader sees? Are there any themes that weren't overt but developed as the stories progressed?

I love to write about characters who believe they are beyond their capacity to cope. Taken to that fertile but frenzied spot where if God doesn’t show up in big ways you are sunk for sure. Someone once said I write characters who discover they are more then who they thought they were, and I love that description. The story became more and more about u-turns as I wrote the book, mostly because the u-turns showed up as I took the characters through the plot. Poor Cameron and Dinah, I really made them miserable before I made them happy...

5. What were your most difficult parts to write? Your favorite?

I can’t give away the most difficult scene without giving away a major plot point, so I’ll defer on that one, but I suspect you’ll know it when you read it. The stakes are higher for my characters in this book than in any I’ve written, I think. As for my favorite scene, the one where Cameron dupes Howard into buying burnt cookies is my favorite, just because it is so deeply embedded in each of their natural impulses. How many other authors can say they’ve invented philanthropic burnt cookies?

6. When is your next book coming out and what is the story?

Next will be BLUEGRASS CHRISTMAS in the fall--October/November just in time for the holiday season. It is Mac MacCarthy’s story--you’ve met Mac in BLUEGRASS HERO. I had a field day with the holiday spirit on this one, turning Middleburg inside out with a toy craze and the Christmas Pageant to end all Christmas pageants!

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Thank you, Allie, for being in the spotlight with us.

Readers, leave a comment for your chance to win a FREE autographed copy of Bluegrass Blessings.

Make sure you also leave your email address (name at domainname You won't be entered in the drawing without it. If you wish to comment but don't want to be entered, say so when you post.

And if you want to make certain you don't miss anything, check the box that says 'email follow-up comments to:' when you leave a comment and they'll be sent to the email address associated with your blogging account. That way you'll be notified of any comments and will know when I announce the winner.

This week, the contest is open to anyone worldwide.


Merry said...

Bluegrass Blessings sounds like a fun story of love and finding the best things in life. Please include me, thanks!


Allie Pleiter said...

Thanks, mez, I think it's a fun story too.

Linda said...

I'm excited to read/win this one, as I just finished Bluegrass Courtship and enjoyed it. Please enter me.
desertrose5173 at gmail dot com

Emma said...

Bluegrass Blessings sounds wonderful.Please enter me.Hope everyone has a great weekend.
augustlily06(at))aim(dot)com Thank you.

windycindy said...

Hi, I adore the Love Inspired books!
I wish I could write a book on a dare. Please add my name to your delightful book giveaway drawing.
Many thanks, Cindi

Anonymous said...

Sounds like a great book....would love to win it and read it! Thanks.

A happy heart at home said...

I loved "Bluegrass Hero," and I would love to win this book! Thanks!


ahappyheartathome (at) gmail (dot) com

Mary C said...

I would be so blessed to win a free copy of Bluegrass Blessings! It sounds terrific! I've enjoyed many Love Inspired Books over the years. ~thanks, from Indiana