About the Book
Book: Lone Star Sweetheart
Author: Shannon Sue Dunlap
Genre: Inspirational Rom-com
Release Date: May 23, 2023
Katherine Bruno is the shrew of Sweetheart, Texas. Her passionate, unfiltered temper clashes with the gentle pace of her tiny hometown. When she’s drafted to help the mayor’s wife who wants to run in the local election against her own husband, she meets big city political consultant Ryan Park, and cue the fireworks! The handsome campaign manager gets under her skin in a big way, but fraternizing with the enemy is off-limits.
Katherine must battle her lack of experience, campaign sabotage, and her growing feelings for Ryan as she strives to succeed. His unprejudiced acceptance of her strong-willed character beckons her heart, but his rejection of God is an insurmountable barrier. Will Ryan return to his faith and stay with her in Sweetheart or leave when the election ends?
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I received a complimentary copy of this book, and all opinions given are my own.
What/Who inspired you to write on the main themes found in the book?
I hope it was Heavenly inspiration. I’d like every story I write, whether Christian fiction or mainstream, to be God-breathed with something that touches the soul. A common theme in Lone Star Sweetheart is that life doesn’t always go the way we want it, but we have to hold on to hope, even in the darkest storms. When it looks the bleakest, we can still believe God keeps his promises while we watch for the rainbow.
Which character in your book do you relate to the most?
I remember the day a college friend called me blunt. It blindsided me. I immediately denied her description but later noticed the words coming out of my mouth didn’t have much sugar-coating on them. “Maybe I AM blunt,” I admitted. It was a light-bulb moment. My heroine Katherine in Lone Star Sweetheart is a tell-it-like-it-is kind of girl. To the extreme. I hope my bluntness hasn’t reached Katherine’s level, but I can definitely relate to her tendency to speak first and regret later.
What did your research process look like for this book?
I’m not a super political person so writing about a small-town election involved all kinds of things I didn’t know. I researched requirements and perception analyzers and who knows what else. But that wasn’t the only area I was ignorant. My setting of Sweetheart, Texas is a charming, close-knit community, and I’m a big city girl. My current home of Houston provided little inspiration for small-town Americana. I drove to a nearby place called Conroe and walked around their quaint downtown. Flower boxes with the Texas star on them. Decorative lampposts. Some of the descriptions in my novel are drawn from my experiences there.
Do you have a favorite drink or snack for when you’re writing?
No drinks. No snacks. I’m not saying I never sip a cup of tea, especially if I’m writing at a coffee house, but for the most part I prefer to be in the zone without distractions. I can reward myself with a Dr. Pepper when I’m done.
What message do you hope readers take away from your book?
I’d like them to finish the last chapter, set the book down, and sigh. That kind of contented feeling after you’ve spent a night laughing over dinner with your friends and your heart feels refreshed. I hope a Heaven-sent optimism permeates their soul with the belief that there are good things on life’s path, and God has planted special gifts along the way just for them.
About the Author
Shannon Sue Dunlap lives in the lone star state of Texas. She’s a die-hard fan of happy endings and believe there’s a Heavenly Father who’s designed one for each of us. Inspiration comes from everywhere—including worldwide travels, her adorable music students, and the fun and flirty Korean dramas she enjoys watching.
Even in the hard times, there’s humor to be found, and Shannon tries to infuse every story with moments that bring a good chuckle or an all-out belly laugh. One of her greatest hopes is that readers recognize themselves in her books. We’re all such a fabulous mix of flaws and greatness, and everyone is the hero or heroine in their own life story.
She holds an M.A. in Journalism from Regent University and has published three romances under the pen name Shannon Kent. You can connect with her at www.shannonsuedunlap.com, and if you sign up for her newsletter, you’ll receive a free copy of her romcom novella Flower Boy Tour Guide.
More from Shannon
“How could she survive the night without a cookie?”
This line introduces my feisty sugar-loving heroine Katherine in Lone Star Sweetheart. She and I have a lot in common when it comes to enjoying our sweets. One hidden gem I discovered has won me more than one holiday baking competition in my church’s ladies group, and I’d like to share the recipe for Lace Cookies.
Warning: These are very fragile and may look like a healthy snack because of the oatmeal. But when you bite into them, the taste is unexpected and addictive.
I hope they bring you the same joy they’ve brought me. I know Katherine would have loved them.
(If you would like to see the original recipe, you can find it and other sweet sensations at jensfavoritecookies.com.)
10 tablespoons of butter (Yes, 10!)
1 cup of brown sugar
3 tablespoons of flour
½ teaspoon of salt
1 ½ cups of rolled oats
(I also include a dollop of vanilla. Just tilt the bottle over the bowl and give it a quick few drops. It adds to the rich taste.)
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Line your baking sheet with parchment paper so the cookies won’t stick.
Heat the butter at a medium temperature in a saucepan. Mix in the brown sugar. Stir it well and remove it from the heat.
Mix in the flour and salt first. Then add the oats until the ingredients are evenly combined.
Drop small balls of the mix (about ½ tsp. in size). In the oven, these cookies spread quite a bit, so space them out accordingly. Bake for 6-9 minutes and remember to keep an eye on them. The edges should turn brown when they are done. (If you’re like me, it may take burning a trial batch, to get the right feel.)
Allow the cookies to cool on the tray for 3-4 minutes before removing them. They will be almost see-through like candy and very fragile. Handle with care and try not to eat too many. You can also crumble any broken ones and use them as a delicious ice cream topping.
Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, July 19
Texas Book-aholic, July 20
Locks, Hooks and Books, July 21
Gina Holder, Author and Blogger, July 23 (Author Interview)
Christina’s Corner, July 23
A Reader’s Brain, July 24 (Author Interview)
Where Crisis & Christ Collide, July 24
The Book Club Network, July 25
Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, July 26
Bliss, Books & Jewels, July 27 (Author Interview)
For Him and My Family, July 28
Holly’s Book Corner, July 29
Artistic Nobody, July 30 (Author Interview)
She Lives To Read, July 31
Happily Managing a Household of Boys, August 1
To celebrate her tour, Shannon is giving away the grand prize package of a $50 Amazon gift card and a copy of the book!!
Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.