Friday, November 6, 2015

Aloha to Julie Brannagh and GUARDING SOPHIE (part 2)

To celebrate the release of GUARDING SOPHIE, I asked Julie Brannagh what was the five most unusual things found in a small town grocery store (other than the hero, football star Kyle Carlson) ...

My husband and I live in a small town in real life. We might be thirty miles east of Seattle, but we’ve heard the grumbling from family and friends – there’s no freeway exit to get to our tree-filled paradise. It takes a while to get here, and those who live here prefer not to leave. As a result, the grocery store here is lot like the store I dreamed up for Noel, my “all Christmas, all the time” town in GUARDING SOPHIE. Let’s take a peek at some of the most unusual offerings…

1. It’s wine (and beer, and whiskey) country

If you visited our small town’s grocery store right now, you might be stunned at the huge variety of Washington State wines available. It’s everything from less than $10 per bottle to the spendier varietals, which are typically kept behind the counter. I believe the local grocery store even has a bottle of Dom Perignon for sale. (Just in case one gets a promotion at work, an Oscar nomination or hits #1 on the New York Times bestseller list.) The (bigger) grocery store ten miles away has a full-time sommelier on staff.

Washington State also has many, many microbreweries, and a few are even located in our small town. There’s half a wall of microbrewery beer in the refrigerated case. There’s also some recognizable national brands for those who prefer something more familiar than Suffering Bastard Ale or Kilt Lifter Ruby Ale on their beer-drinking occasions. Fun fact: Locally-made Mac & Jack’s Amber Ale has appeared in most of my books so far. I’m not a beer fan, but I really like theirs.

A whiskey distiller is ten miles from our small town. Their whiskey is carried at the local grocery store as well. Let’s face it, there’s no movie theater or nightclub. What are people supposed to do on the weekends?

2. Throwback snack foods

We were pleasantly surprised to find some of our favorites from back in the day in the snack section of the local grocery store. When’s the last time you had Bugles, or Funyuns? They go well with certain alcoholic beverages as well.

3. Locally-made products

The small grocery store in our hometown carries a good selection of items from local farms, dairies and other concerns. It’s possible to get local honey harvested from hives in the Snoqualmie Valley year-round, for instance. People in bigger cities visit our hometown for the transcendent Cherry Valley Dairy grey salt butter and fresh cream in the pint glass bottle.

4. Half a wall of barbecue sauce

Our small grocery store is obsessed with barbecue sauce. The BBQ sauce display dwarfs other displays, featuring the typical national brands (KC Masterpiece, Kraft’s) as well as delicious and a bit harder-to-find choices. (Stubb’s. Armadillo Barbecue, which is local to the Seattle area.)

5. Poker chips and playing cards

We’re ready for a barbecue and some poker year-round! Stop by, won’t you?

Yes, Julie, we'll stop by!   GUARDING SOPHIE is a novella from the Love and Football series:

Hearts beat and sparks fly when two people find shelter in each other

Seattle Sharks wide receiver Kyle Carlson needs to escape and Noel, Washington, is the perfect place for him to do it and figure out his next step. He likes the seclusion and predictability of the small town…until the biggest surprise of his life turns up in the local grocery store.

Sophie Hayes has her own reasons for disappearing without a trace and moving to Noel. This mountain town makes her feel safe for the first time in a long time. But her quiet routine is threatened when Kyle walks back into her life. Growing up in the same Florida town, she always had a little thing for the sexy football player. This tie to her old life, though, could mean she has to run again, even if her heart wants to stay.

When the reason she fled shows up in Noel, Kyle and Sophie, with a little extra help from his teammates, must decide to stay and fight for the life, and love, they’ve found together.

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USA Today Bestselling Author, Julie Brannagh has been writing since she was old enough to hold a pencil. She lives in a small town near Seattle, where she once served as a city council member and owned a yarn shop. She shares her home with a wonderful husband, two uncivilized Maine Coons and a rambunctious chocolate Lab.

When she’s not writing, she’s reading, or armchair-quarterbacking her favorite NFL team from the comfort of the family room couch. Julie is a Golden Heart finalist and the author of contemporary sports romances.

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