Monday, August 20, 2012

Coffee with Lisa Jordan and a Giveaway!

Good Monday everyone! Today, I'm hanging out with the ridiculously talented author, Lisa Jordan! Married 23 years to her real life hero, Lisa  knows a thing or two about romance. She and her husband have two college-aged sons and will be facing an empty nest soon. By day, Lisa is an early childhood educator, and by night, she is a contemporary romance novelist with Love Inspired. Lakeside Reunion, her debut novel, is a 2012 Carol Award Finalist. Lakeside Family, her second novel, releases in August 2012. She is represented by Rachelle Gardner of Books & Such Agency. In her free time (ha!), Lisa enjoys good books, chick flicks, crafting with friends and feeding her NCIS addiction. To learn more about Lisa, visit her website at

Now, guess where we are?

Cuppa Josie's!

Can't you smell the cinnamon tangoing with the sugar while banana nut bread turns golden in the oven! Spiced teas and rich dark roasted coffee tease us to give in to the caffeine rush, while the herbal teas challenge us to be healthier!

This is Cuppa Josie's and it can only be found in Shelby Lake, the setting of Lisa's second novel in the Lakeside series, Lakeside Family.

JP: Lisa, tell us a little bit about Cuppa Josie’s so readers will know where they are today! And what’s on the menu?!

LJ: Cuppa Josie’s is a coffee café that invites guests to sit on the comfy couch to sip their coffee, eat their lunch at the window bar and watch people pass by, or pull up one of the chairs at the round tables to chat with friends or do work.
Josie opened a coffee café because coffee and food bring people together. Inspired by her Italian grandmother, Josie bakes all of the desserts in her bakery case from scratch.

photo credit: freedigitalphotos
JP: As I read the scenes with Josie in the kitchen, my mouth watered. Chocolate chip muffins, lemon poppy seed muffins, apple crisp and delicious flavored coffees! How many sweet delicacies did you eat while writing this?

LJ: Hehe, funny thing is I didn’t eat any of them! When I’m in the mood, I love to bake—usually in the winter when the temps dip, but I haven’t had a lot of baking time. I’ve found inspiration in my cookbooks, online recipe sites and the tasty treats offered at our local coffee shop that sort of inspired Cuppa Josie’s.

JP: Josie had an allergy to caffeine. Which broke my heart, poor thing. But what a neat trait to give her. I’ve never read of anyone having this particular allergy. I’m on my second cup of Butter toffee and chocolate coffee, by the way. What are you sipping on?

LJ: Josie loves people more than she loves coffee, but she knows how many people enjoy a fresh cup.

I love the smell of coffee, but hate the taste. Drinking coffee makes me sick…literally, but I loved hanging out with my friends at our favorite coffee spot. In fact, several colleagues and I kept meeting at our local coffee shop, and that started our friendship. We now call ourselves the Coffee Girls.

Photo credit: freedigitalphotos
I love tea. Chai tea is a favorite, as well as Good Hope Vanilla. I drink a lot of green tea, both hot and cold. In the summertime, I drink a cup of hot tea in the morning, then switch to iced green tea. In the winter, I will drink caffeine-free tea throughout the day. I have enough tea to drink 2 or 3 cups a day and not run out for over a year.

JP: I love the Chai tea latte, but I can’t seem to enjoy Green tea. I love Shelby Lake it’s truly a special place, too bad it’s fictitious because I’d definitely put it on my vacation list. Or live list. You made it fun, friendly, full of community. Did you base it off any particular place? If so, how much of Shelby Lake is fictional?

LJ: Shelby Lake is fictional. It’s set in the northwestern part of Pennsylvania, which is where I live. Our area is simply breathtaking with mountains, rivers, multicolored leaves in the fall. I live in a national forest with one of the great lakes within a 90 minute drive. When I created Shelby Lake, I wanted a lakefront community similar to what I’m familiar with. And the experts tell us to write what we know. Friends and family will mention certain parts of my book and compare it to an area in our town. I’ll simply smile and say something like, “Imagine that.”

photo credit: freedigitalphotos
JP: I need to come visit you then! Lisa, my favorite recipe is the zeppole. Tell readers what that is and how they can get the recipe for this wonderful pastry!

LJ: Zeppole is an Italian doughnut-like pastry. It reminds me a little of a cream puff. They can be baked or deep fried like doughnuts. In Lakeside Family, Josie bakes hers and it’s a treat saved only for family and special friends. She doesn’t offer it to her customers at Cuppa Josie’s. Readers can Google the recipe and find variations. I will be including the recipe in my September newsletter, so if you want Josie’s secret recipe, you need to subscribe to my newsletter on my site. Go to and click on the envelope icon on the right side of the navigation bar or scroll to the bottom of the home page and fill in your email address in the “Stay in Touch” box.

JP: If I’m not signed up, I will be! Since Lisa is so awesome, she said she’d share another recipe here today!

Photo credit: freedigitalphotos
LJ: I’m sharing Josie’s Glazed Lemon Poppyseed Strawberry Crumb Muffins
1½ cups flour
½ cup sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
¼ teaspoon salt
½ cup plain nonfat yogurt
1 stick melted butter
1 egg
1 cup chopped fresh strawberries
1 teaspoon lemon zest

Crumb topping:
¼ cup chopped almonds
¼ cup packed brown sugar
2 Tablespoons flour
¼ teaspoon cinnamon
¼ teaspoon nutmeg
½ teaspoon lemon zest
1 Tablespoon melted butter

Mix together with fork.
Combine 2/3 cup powdered sugar with 1 ¼ Tablespoon fresh lemon juice in a small bowl until smooth
Preheat oven to 350˚ F. Grease or line with papers 12 muffin cups. Mix crumb topping and set aside. Mix glaze and set aside.
In a large bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon and salt. In a small bowl, mix milk, butter and egg until well blended. Stir milk mixture into flour mixture until just moistened. Don’t worry about lumps. Avoid overmixing. Fold in strawberries and lemon zest. Spoon mixture into prepared muffin cups. Sprinkle crumb mixture evenly over tops of muffins. Bake in oven for about 25 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Remove muffins from pan and cool on a wire rack. Drizzle the glaze over warm muffin tops. Serve with favorite beverage.

JP: Yum! I should bake these for book club! One last thing before you go. One of the most fun things about Cuppa Josie’s is her word wall. Lisa, after you snag another muffin, tell readers what that is and then leave us with our very own virtual word wall today!

LJ: Each month Josie puts up miscellaneous words on a community word wall and challenges her customers to write something unique. At the end of the month, they’re voted on and the winner receives a free drink.

photocredit: freedigitalphotos
Your word wall challengeuse these words in a paragraph… trust, lake, kite, muffin, umbrella, elephant, Thursday.

JP: Since Lisa is so awesome, she’s giving away a copy of her novel, Lakeside Family! All you have to do is leave your email address if you want to be entered to win! Sharing on facebook and tweeting gets you added entries. (but tag me so I count them as added entries)

And that’s not all! (Wow, for a second I thought I was about to give away the shamwow! Can you say infomercial voice!?)

If you take the word wall challenge, Lisa will choose the person with the best paragraph and they’ll get a $10.00 Starbucks card! (US residents only for both contests.)

Lisa is celebrating the release of Lakeside Family with a month-long party of giveaways, including Coffee Lovers and Tea Lovers baskets. For more details and to enter the gift basket giveaways, leave a comment here.  

The book released at the beginning of the month, so readers can find it in their favorite bookstore or online retailer.

Thanks again, Lisa, for letting me and everyone else hang out with you at Cuppa Josie's! It's been worth the calories! You can hang out with Lisa in other places too, like FACEBOOK and TWITTER and her BLOG

Here’s a peek at Lakeside Family:
The one man she never wanted to see again is the only who can save her daughter’s life.

In the space of a minute, Nick Brennan learns he has a nine-year-old daughter— and that she desperately needs his help. All this time, his high school sweetheart, single mother Josie Peretti, thought he knew about their child. And that he just didn’t care. About the ill little girl—or Josie, the woman he’s never forgotten. But Nick made a long-ago promise never to forsake his family the way his father did. A promise he vows to make good on now… if only Josie will bless him with a second chance.

*The winner for the God of All Comfort goodie basket, including Donna Pyle's study and a Kindle touch is.... Loree Huebner!

It's not too late for those of you who didn't win! Hop over to Gabrielle Meyer's blog; Donna's over there sharing about her study and giving away:
  • A signed copy of The God of All Comfort
  • $50 Amazon card
  • $15 iTunes card
  • Coffee mug w/ the study's logo
  • And a DVD set of Your Strong Suit (fab study by Donna)


  1. Loved this post, ladies! I can relate to Josie's caffeine allergy - I can't drink coffee - I'm highly sensitive to the stuff. Good thing I love tea so much. :)

    Jessica, thank you for the shout out for Donna's stop on my blog! We had so much fun with our visit and her study looks amazing - not to mention her giveaway - wow.

    Here's my attempt at the Word Wall Challenge:
    On Thursday I stopped at my favorite cafe and bought a blueberry muffin, which I ate on my way to the lake. I intended to fly my kite when I arrived, but it began to rain. I opened an umbrella, decorated with little purple elephants, and I made my way home through the puddles. I thought I could trust the umbrella, but I soon realized my folly, when water ran down my hand.

    1. Gabrielle, love the elephant umbrella! Thanks for creating!

  2. How fun! Just finished Lisa's book last night and loved it. I wish I had time for the Word Wall challenge, but I've gotta go to work. Believe me, I'd rather do the challenge. :P

    1. LindsAy, I'm so glad you loved Lakeside Family. Come back and do the challenge after work!

  3. Great interview, ladies! Now I'm craving coffee and muffins, but I'm on a cleanse diet this week. Boo! :)

    Lisa's book looks great!

    1. Sarah, what's in your cleanse diet? What willpower!

  4. Love the interview. Those muffins sound out of this world! I'm taking down the recipe.

    Also, thank you Jessica and Donna Pyle! I'm so excited to have won her book. It's very timely for me.

    1. Hope the muffins turn out for you, Loree!

  5. Great interview, Jessica and Lisa! Man, I would LOVE to run a place like Cuppa Josie's. Just making coffee and yummies all day to delight guests. Awesome! Lisa, I loved learning how you created Shelby Lake. If it wasn't fictional, I'd want to set up a retirement home there. :)

    1. Donna, I wish Cuppa Josie's was real! I'd love to hang out there. Shelby Lake feels very real to me since it's loosely based on my area.

  6. Jesse, thanks so much for hosting me! What a fun event this turned out to be!

  7. Great interview! Here is my entry:

    "I trust that you will meet us at Elephant Lake on Thursday," she wrote. "Be sure you bring your kite and an umbrella, for the weather is set to be windy and wet. Sincerely, Your Love Muffin."

    1. Hehe, very cute, Melissa! Thanks for playing.


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