Monday, August 18, 2014

Character Interview + Giveaway: Heir to Scandal by Andrea Laurence

I would like you all to welcome Xander Langston, Rose Pierce, and Andrea Laurence to What I'm Reading. (The colors that are highlighting the names are correspond with their answers)

How are you guys doing? Would you guys care for a beverage while we sit and chat?
We’re great, thanks for having us, Melody. And no need for drinks, they’ll get their pages wet. J

Xander and Rose how do you feel about your story? Would there be anything you would like to change if you had the power?
I, for one, would’ve liked there to be more sex in the book.
*shrugs unapologetically*
I wish I could’ve included some of my recipes in the book. I think readers would enjoy that. Of course, that would mean that Andrea would have to come up with real recipes for my imaginary desserts!

Now to the hard hitting questions J (They might not be that hard)

Xander what’s it like to be one of the youngest congressman to be elected? Can you name any others that have been young congressman?
Ack, a quiz. Okay, first, it was amazing to go to Washington so young. I felt that starting early would give me time to really dedicate my whole life to serving the country and really make a difference. The downside was that it took a while for me to be taken seriously when I was younger than some congressmen’s children. The youngest congressman in history was William Claiborne, elected in the 1790s at age 22. More recently is Patrick Murphy from Florida. We’re about the same age.

What was it like to be thrust into the foster care system?
It was kind of a blur, really. I was trying to deal with my parents’ sudden death and Heath was in the hospital for quite a while, which was scary. I think I was too busy growing up overnight to notice how everything was changing around me. But we were so lucky. The Edens were the first family we were placed with. We never bounced around like a lot of other children do. I’m very grateful that we found a real home immediately and were able to start building our new lives.

Okay, what was it like seeing Rose after all those years have passed?
Wow. That moment was just... it was like we’d never been apart and that it had been millennia since I saw her all at once.

Rose, what was your first thought when you saw Xander after all those years?
Honestly? Oh, crap. It was a moment I’d been both fantasizing about and dreading since I found out I was pregnant.

Rose, how hard was it to keep your secret from Xander all these years?
Keeping a secret in a small town was nearly impossible, especially with Molly in town. I just knew she would figure it out eventually and everyone would hate me. I lived in daily fear of being found out, and at the same time, I don’t know how many times I picked up the phone to call Xander and tell him the truth.

Xander, how did you feel when you found out Rose’s secret?
I knew something wasn’t right that night. Rose thinks she’s sneakier than she is and her weird evasiveness made me wonder what was really going on. When I pieced it together, it was this strange mix of anger, elation, sadness and wonder. All of a sudden I was a father. That’s crazy.

Rose, how did you feel when you found out Xander’s family secret?
Well, I didn’t react well, but who could blame me? I just couldn’t believe that after everything that happened with my dad, that Xander would throw something like that at me. But then I realized there had to be a reason. Xander just wasn’t that kind of person. Now it all makes sense and I feel bad that he had to keep it a secret all this time.

Okay, Rose one last question before I turn my attention to Andrea, would you be will to share your recipe for your strawberry cloud cake with my good readers?
Sure. It’s actually an adaptation of a strawberry meringue cake. Meringue can be really finicky when it’s humid, so I tried it once with layers of angel food cake instead and it worked really well!

Strawberry Cloud Cake
·       Angel Food Cake
    • 1 cup cake flour (about 4 ounces)
    • 1 cup powdered sugar, divided
    • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
    • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
    • 12 large egg whites
    • 1 teaspoon cream of tartar
    • 1/2 teaspoon salt
    • 2 tablespoons fresh orange juice
·       Filling
    • 2 (8-oz.) containers mascarpone cheese
    • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
    • 3 cups whipping cream
    • 4 1/2 cups sliced fresh strawberries
    • Halved fresh strawberries
  • Instructions
    • Preheat oven to 375°.
    • To prepare cake, place a rack in the lower third of oven. Lightly spoon flour into a dry measuring cup; level with a knife. Sift together flour, 1/2 cup powdered sugar, and ginger in a medium bowl. Sift together remaining 1/2 cup powdered sugar and 3/4 cup granulated sugar in another bowl. Place egg whites in a large bowl; beat with a mixer at high speed until foamy. Add cream of tartar and salt; beat until soft peaks form. Add powdered and granulated sugar mixture, 1 tablespoon at a time, beating until stiff peaks form. Sift flour mixture over egg white mixture, 1/4 cup at a time; fold in. Fold in 2 tablespoons juice.
    • Spoon batter into an ungreased 10-inch tube pan, spreading evenly. Break air pockets by cutting through batter with a knife. Bake at 375° for 30 minutes or until cake springs back when lightly touched. Invert pan; cool completely. Loosen cake from sides of pan using a narrow metal spatula. Invert the cake onto a plate.
    • Once cooled, use a serrated knife to cut the cake into three even layers.
    • Just before assembling cake, stir together mascarpone cheese and vanilla in a large bowl just until blended.
    • Beat whipping cream at low speed until foamy; increase speed to medium-high, and gradually add remaining 1/2 cup sugar, beating until stiff peaks form. (Do not overbeat or cream will be grainy.) Gently fold whipped cream into mascarpone mixture.
    • Carefully place the first layer of cake on a serving plate. Spread one-third mascarpone mixture (about 2.5 cups) over cake; top with 1 1/2 cups sliced strawberries. Repeat layers; top with remaining mascarpone mixture, and halved strawberries. Serve immediately, or chill up to 2 hours. Cut with a sharp, thin-bladed knife.
    • As a note, sometime I like to puree some of the strawberries and mix it into the mascarpone before I fold in the whipped cream. That’s what gives it the pink color. But that’s up to you!
Click to see savings

Now Andrea, what was it like to write Xander and Rose’s story?
I’ll be honest - this was a hard one for me to write. It took a couple tries to get the right balance of sexuality, drama and elegance in a story set in a rural area with a little boy, a county fair, a diner waitress and a scout camp in it. Those elements didn’t really lend themselves to a glamorous feel.

Were you pleased with the outcome of the story?
I think the book turned out really well. I’m already anticipating hate mail for the cliffhanger ending, but hopefully since the next book is out in October, they won’t be too upset with me.

Are there any surprises you would like to impart before you leave us today? Any information about the next story (I know you have to be fairly vague cause of our other guests)?
You know, I’ve spent the most part of the last two years keeping the full plot of this series a secret. I can’t give away too much, I’m so close! But, I will say that all will be revealed in HER SECRET HUSBAND and the ending will be very satisfying. I cry every time I read the last page. I hope readers do, too.

 I would like to thank you guys again. Are there any lasting words you would like to say before you leave us today?
I hope that I can count on your vote for Xander Langston, Connecticut District Five in the next election.
Not now, baby. There’s plenty of time to campaign later.
Oh, sorry. It’s a reflex.
Thanks for having me, Melody. It was a lot of fun. If you make that cake recipe, let me know how it turns out!

Xander if I wasn't a register voter in California you could definitely count on my vote. Thanks again for stopping by. For all you that have stopped by and checked out this interview Andrea has been nice enough to give a signed copy of her soon to be latest book Heir to Scandal. If you would like a chance to win a copy just leave a comment with name and email address. I will pick a winner the following week. 


"Yes, you have a son."

The past is about to catch up with Congressman Xander more ways than one. While his reelection campaign is in full swing, unidentified remains surface on his family's farm and scandal ensues. Yet when he returns home, it's his reunion with Rose Pierce that's consuming all his waking thoughts.

His high school sweetheart has blossomed into a radiant beauty. The thrill of first love that Xander had once dismissed is proving to be a more enduring proposition. But Rose has a secret, too--will it put a stop to their second chance and derail his career for good?

Pre-Order Links:

Author Biography

Andrea Laurence has been a lover of reading and writing stories since she learned to read at a young age. She always dreamed of seeing her work in print and is thrilled to finally be able to share her special blend of sensuality and dry, sarcastic humor with the world. A dedicated West Coast girl transplanted into the Deep South, she's working on her own "happily ever after" with her boyfriend and their collection of animals including a Siberian Husky that sheds like nobody's business.


  1. Lovely interview, ladies! :) Oh, sorry, and Xander!

    I'd kill for your dessert right now, Rose!


    1. Thanks, TBQ. Melody made the cake using the receipe and I think it turned out well, although she said with the marscapone, the cake was heavy. Light, yet heavy, but tasted like strawberry shortcake. As long as it's tasty!

  2. That dessert looks amaaaazing!


  3. great blog, I love Andrea Laurence and the cake looks yummy


    thanks x

  4. Yum! The dessert looks amazing and I really enjoyed the interview. ;)

    Marcy Shuler

    1. Hey Marcy,
      I just wanted to let you know that I sent you an email congrats.