Guest Review and Interview: Sheila Roberts new book, The Tea Shop on Lavender Lane

My mom (Judy from Retired-Not-Tired) was visiting recently and we got to talking about books and I mentioned that I'd be reviewing another one of Sheila Roberts' books (read about my review of Better than Chocolate here) and she said that she'd be happy to review the latest book, The Tea Shop on Lavender Lane while I took the opportunity to interview the author!  It's all part of her Pump Up Your Book Blog Tour:

Here's what mom had to say:
I finished reading " The Tea shop on Lavender Lane" by Sheila Roberts this afternoon. It was a wonderful summer read. Sheila writes in the same  vein as Debbie Macomber who I love. Sheila tells the story of 3 sisters, 2 who want the same man. The story twists and turns as both sisters figure out what man is their true love. The story has a happy ending and the part I like best is how tea plays a part in solving the issues. Tea is an important part of my life and I see this story  as another way many people come together over a cup of tea.
Sheila's characters seem very real and I can picture them in the small town of Icicle Falls. I look forward to reading more of Sheila Roberts.
Here's what the publisher offers as an overview of The Tea Shop on Lavender Lane:
When it comes to men, sisters don't share! 
After a fake food poisoning incident in L.A., Bailey Sterling's dreams of becoming a caterer to the stars collapse faster than a soufflĂ©. Now Bailey's face is in all the gossip rags and her business is in ruins. But the Sterling women close ranks and bring her back to Icicle Falls, where she'll stay with her sister Cecily. 
All goes well between the sisters until Bailey comes up with a new business idea—a tea shop on a charming street called Lavender Lane. She's going into partnership with Todd Black, who—it turns out—is the man Cecily's started dating. It looks to Cecily as if there's more than tea brewing in that cute little shop. And she's not pleased. 
Wait! Isn't Cecily seeing Luke Goodman? He's a widower with an adorable little girl, and yes, Cecily does care about him. But Todd's the one who sends her zing-o-meter off the charts. So now what? Should you have to choose between your sister and the man you love (or think you love)?
Mrs. Roberts was kind enough to answer a few questions about herself and her books for us - here's her interview:

1. Tell us a little bit about how you write your books: 
Thanks so much for having me! I’d be delighted to. I always start with an idea. It may be an image or one sentence that comes to mind, an answer to the question “what if?” For example, when I wrote “The Nine Lives of Christmas” I thought of George Bailey in “It’s a Wonderful Life” standing on that bridge, praying, “Please, God, I want to live again.”  And I thought what if I wrote about a cat who was on his last life and wanting desperately to make it last? That turned out to be such a fun book and it’s slated to air as a Hallmark movie this holiday season. (Needless to say, I’m very excited!) When I was thinking about “The Teashop on Lavender Lane” I knew I wanted to tell the story of two continuing characters in my “Life in Icicle Falls” series: sisters Cecily and Bailey Sterling. Bailey needed to come home and start over, and I thought the ideal business for her would be a tea shop-tearoom. (Because I love ‘em.) But you can’t have a story without conflict, and what better way to have conflict that to throw a man into the mix?
2. How long have you been writing and what do you love about it? 
I’ve actually been writing since I was a child. I’ve always loved to write. I love stories and I keep myself highly entertained making them up.
 3. What hobbies/interests do you have?  
I have a lot of interests. I love to dance and I’m a big tennis buff. I’ve recently taken up golf and I’m terrible at it but I enjoy it anyway. I’m a huge game lover and get together with a bunch of girlfriends every month for lunch and games (which can range from cards to Boggle). Music, movies and reading are my other big passions.
4. Something people would be surprised to know about me is…  
I’m a grandma. I don’t feel old enough to be a grandma but it happened to me anyway. And I’m glad it did. I love having grandkids!
5. If you could invite 4 people (real or fictional, living or dead) to a dinner party, who would you invite and what would you serve?
Let’s see. I’d invite Steve Martin, Oprah Winfrey, Mother Teresa and Jane Austen. Now, that would make for some interesting conversation! As to what to serve? Oh, goodness! I think I’d serve my Salmon Wellington (salmon in puff pastry with mushrooms – it’s really good). 
6. I can’t live without…  my Bible.

7. Tell us a little about this current book - what was your favorite part about writing it?
It’s about family, sibling rivalry, new beginnings and love.  I really enjoyed exploring that important sister relationship. What happens when it’s threatened? How do sisters work out their differences when it seems impossible?
8. What's next for your writing?  
My next book, “The Lodge on Holly Road” (a Christmas tale) will be out this November and, meanwhile, I’m already finishing up a book for next spring.
9. How can your fans stay up to date with what you are doing?
I hope they’ll visit my website ( We’ve always got a contest going or a new recipe or blog up there. They can also hang out with me on Facebook ( )

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