CW Summer Hanford 1 300x300 Coffee With Author Summer Hanford and Giveaway!Welcome to Books I Love A Latte where we provide spoiler free book reviews and share bookish content. If you’re new here, welcome. If you’re back for more fun – thank you for hanging out with us today. 

Our ‘Coffee With’ is posted exclusively on our website and then shared across social media platforms by post links when we are having a cuppa and a chat in the lounge. 

Continue to check the blog as we will be having new new additions to our chats, guests, and lots of fun surprises as we get ready to kick off celebrating our tenth year of bookish fun in the upcoming months. A gentle reminder if you want to make sure you don’t miss a single post please be sure to follow us on social media on your preferred platform here.  

Today we are excited to have Author Summer Hanford in the lounge. Thanks for hanging out  to chat about books and bookish tidbits. It’s time to grab a cuppa and settle in. My barista made me a Coconut Vanilla Latte with a drizzle of caramel. 

Rae: What’s in your cuppa?

Summer: Hi Rae! Thank you so much for having me here with you. As to the content of my mug, I’m having Earl Grey tea to which I have quite scandalously added cream along with the sugar (even though I know that lemon and sugar are the only truly acceptable additions).

Rae: I find that reading is best when I have a beverage and a snack, what do you need to have for yourself when you are settling in to read?

Summer: I couldn’t agree with you more. I like to read with tea and a sweet. Generally shortbread cookies, or a slice of lemon cake.

Rae: Before we start can you tell everyone about the books you write?

Summer: I write in three genres, two of which seem similar but aren’t as much so as you would think. The dissimilar one is Epic Fantasy. The two similar ones are Regency Romance and Austenesque Variations. Regardless of genre, I love at least a bit of action and adventure, and in my two historical genres, I veer to lighthearted.

Rae: When was the moment you knew you wanted to be an author?

Summer: When I read my first novel, which was epic fantasy. I had a lot of trouble learning to write and to read. In fact, I repeated a grade because they couldn’t move me forward until I learned to do both. After several years of special classes, the letters on the page finally began to make sense. Once that happened, I was hooked. I love living inside a novel, and I can’t imagine a better way to spend my days than crafting stories that will, hopefully, be as entertaining and important to other people as many of the books I’ve read are to me.

Rae: How do you keep your historical, fantasy, classic fiction, and regency worlds from blending into the other?

Summer Hanford MDBS 2 193x300 Coffee With Author Summer Hanford and Giveaway!Summer: There are small carryovers. There’s a lot of bowing and curtsying in all of them, as well as marriage contracts and dowries. Of course, in Regency Romance or Austenesque Variations, the marriage contracts are all about finding love, often despite the lack of a dowry. While in Epic Fantasy, marriages are born of forged alliances. For the most part, however, they are a foil to one another. Writing fantasy books about epic struggles of good and evil, punctuated by betrayal, murder, and heroism, allows me to fill my romances with the lighthearted, low angst fun my readers enjoy. I could never chop off Mr. Darcy’s head (and who would want to!), but I can cheerfully unleash a dozen wyverns on a besieged city.

Rae: Do you find it easy to switch your creative process when writing more than one genre? Is it difficult to keep your worlds separate?

Summer: I could say it’s easy but I’m not certain that’s true. Generally, I alternate book by book, meaning I don’t write more than one at the same time. When I first brought in the Austenesque novels, it was much more difficult. I recall that in two of the first books I co-authored, there was far more bloodshed than usual for the genre. That said, there’s plenty of room in the Regency and Austenesque worlds for wonderful sword fights, carriage chases, balcony scaling, and all sorts of action. It’s more in the nuance of how it’s described. Sort of like the difference between ‘closed door’ and ‘open door’ romance.

Rae: What are your writing rituals?

Summer: First, I make my tea and check my email and social media. I give myself thirty minutes for that, and then it all has to go away until lunch time, when I get another fifteen minutes. After that, it depends on the genre.

For my romance writing, I next ‘visit’ my Jacquie Lawson Country Cottage, because I have to play solitaire there. Regular solitaire simply won’t do. It’s not pretty or soothing enough. I like to win before writing but I also put a fifteen-minute time limit on that in case I’m having a terrible solitaire day for some reason.

If I’m going to write fantasy or even a fast paced, action-intensive historical, I listen to The Dragonborn Comes, performed by Malukah. If you don’t know it, it’s a wonderful, haunting piece written for a videogame. The sort with swords and dragons. The song never fails to fill my mind with the glory of how heroic individuals can reshape the world.

If for some reason none of that works, I get a second cup of tea, play a little more solitaire, and put Caribbean Blue by Enya on repeat, so softly that I can hardly hear it. I’ve mentally composed so many scenes in so many books to the sound of Caribbean Blue that it’s almost like hypnotism. In fact, all I really need to be able to write is to start playing that song in my head. I’m like Pavlov’s dogs with their bell.

Rae: Do you prefer pen and paper or type away?

Summer: I far and above prefer to type. I never did master writing with my hands very well, even with all the special classes. I can, when I’m working well, type as fast as I think the story. That said, I’m a terrible typist. When I edit, which is much slower, you wouldn’t believe the sentences I find. Actually, if you want to see some, just go to Facebook and search the hashtag #myproofreadingerrors. They’re a running joke.

Rae: When you start writing the first book in a new series do you plot out how many books there will be? 

Summer: The short answer is yes. I’m a plotter through and through. I plot the number of books. I plot the number of chapters in each book. I do a brief, three-to-six-line outline of each chapter.

That said, adjustments are made along the way. Changes can happen. The opening outline is a line painted down the road, not train tracks the story is stuck on.

Rae: How extensive is your research before beginning a new story in a series? 

Summer: Weirdly, more extensive for fantasy books than historical ones, at this point. I used to do a lot of historical research in the form of reading a ton in various Regency genres, going to all sorts of blogs, and buying books about the era. I’ve found that a lot of the information out there is directly contradictory. To combat that, I’ve established my norms for my novels. My readers are accepting of them. Within them, we can all enjoy the story.

For fantasy books, most of the research comes before the writing. I research languages. Ancient religions and cultures. Symbols. Plants and animals. All sorts of things. I like to do a lot of world and character building before outlining the story. Often, the world informs the characters and the plot. For example, are some of the nations landlocked? That’s often a good impetus for war, or for treaties (which brings us all the way back to marriages and dowries).

But I’m terrible about stopping my work to research. I’ve read all sorts of methods for overcoming that tendency. Now I just need a method to combat ignoring helpful methods.

Rae: What is next on the horizon? 

Summer Hanford DoA 2 300x157 Coffee With Author Summer Hanford and Giveaway!Summer: I’m finishing the final book in my second Epic Fantasy series right now, with all the drama that goes into wrapping up six books worth of war, heroism, shifting loyalties, and treacherous gods. The first draft is exactly halfway done (plotter and all that). After that, there will be two new Austenesque books. A swashbuckling adventure and a murder mystery. Then, I have a Historical Fiction trilogy to finish and a Dracula retelling. Honestly, my to-do list writing-wise is super long. If someone likes my work and my writing style, they really don’t need to worry that they’ll ever run out of things to read.

As to events, my next in-person event will be Lori Foster’s Reader Author Get Together (RAGT) this June in Cincinnati, Ohio. I’m co-hosting the welcome party with Author Barbara Devlin Friday and Saturday, June 7th and 8th, from 3pm to 5pm, the book signings are open to the public.

Rae: Thank you so much for hanging out with me today.

Summer: Thank you again for having me. It’s been a true pleasure. I am so excited to be here.

Rae: Readers we’d love to know when you are settling in to read do you have any favorite snacks and beverages? Have a bookish question for Summer…leave it below. 

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1. What is your must read book? Why? I’m sure you know this is a very difficult question, and my answer is likely to change based on the day, my mood, etc. I can narrow it down to one of Anne McCaffrey’s Pern books, but I simply cannot choose amongst them. They have everything. An epic struggle to save the world. Politics. Romance. Coming of age stories. Books that will make you cry. Moments that will make you smile. A vivid, nuanced, and in-depth society that evolves throughout the history of their world. Dragons. Miniature pet dragons! As I said, everything.

2. If I visit your hometown, where are you taking me, and what’s the best place to grab a bite? I’m taking you to my family’s onetime dairy farm, now converted into a forty-acre garden. We can bring a picnic with us. We’ll want to bring food and water into the hedge maze, after all, in case we get lost.

3. What is one thing readers would be surprised to know about you? Summer is my real name. It’s my middle name, but no one calls me by my first name except telemarketers.

4. What is your guilty pleasure? Chocolate babka from Green’s in New York City.

5. What are you afraid of? Not having enough time and tidal waves.

6. Tats or No Tats? If tats, how many and what did you choose for your first one? Not a one. That’s way too much commitment for me. I can’t even commit to a genre.

7. Binge watcher or weekly viewer? Which show(s)? I like to watch The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, but a day late because I go to bed early. I watch Midsomer Murders while I’m cooking. If I’m doing goodie bags or giveaway items, I’ll put on an older film. Something funny like Clueless or Princess Bride. If I’m cleaning, I listen to Wait Wait…Don’t Tell Me!

8. Is there a book you have read that you would love to see made into a movie (besides yours😊)? So many! There are lots of Lori Foster or Barbara Devlin books that would make amazing movies. Also, any of the old classic fantasy books like Dragonlance, the Pern books, the Belgariad.

9. What is the one thing you cannot live without? Earl Grey tea (with cream and sugar).

10. What is the one career that gives you the shudders? Behavioral Neurologist.

11. If I opened your handbag/bag/briefcase, what item would I be shocked to see? The weirdest thing I carry around would be all the earplugs. I hate loud noise, so I almost always have earplugs. Although sometimes I’m carrying around chocolate babka.

12. What app on your phone/ipad gets the most use? Sadly, my email, and the list goes on from there, work wise. If we eliminate work related apps, since it’s spring, it’s Merlin. Merlin is an app from the Cornell Lab of Ornithology that listens for birdsong. It tells you what birds it hears around you, with images, so you can identify them, and it reports what birds are around you (if you let it, which I do) to help them keep track of what birds are where. I’m a little obsessed with birds, something you may notice here and there in my work. Someday I want to see the raptor migration.Mug 300x300 Coffee With Author Summer Hanford and Giveaway!

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ONE Grand Prize winner will be randomly selected to receive a Black Amazon Kindle Paperwhite 16 GB (This model does not have a trial of Kindle Unlimited) AND an ONE Amazon e-book of Mr. Darcys Bookshop by Summer Hanford  **International winners will receive a gift card in lieu of kindle since they can’t receive a kindle**

FIVE Winners will be randomly selected to win an amazon e-book of Mr. Darcys Bookshop by Summer Hanford

FIVE Winners will be randomly selected to win a Signed Paperback of Mr. Darcy’s Bookshop by Summer Hanford **open to International readers**


GIVEAWAY is open 4/19/24 -4/27/24/  at 11:59 PM

Good luck to all!

Be sure to follow Summer Hanford on all social media platforms and Books I Love A Latte for announcement of winners.

Winners will be randomly selected and announced on the blog. An attempt will be made to contact the winners.
It is the winners responsibility to respond to notification.
If winner doesn’t claim prize within 24 hours a new winner will be drawn.

** For all giveaway rules read here.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Coffee With Gina L. Maxwell V1 3 1 300x300 Coffee With Author Summer Hanford and Giveaway!

Mug 300x300 Coffee With Author Summer Hanford and Giveaway!

Coffee With Gina L. Maxwell V1 1 300x300 Coffee With Author Summer Hanford and Giveaway!

Author Photo Summer Hanford 2 300x268 Coffee With Author Summer Hanford and Giveaway!Summer Hanford writes swashbuckling Historical Romance, best-selling Pride and Prejudice retellings, and gripping Epic Fantasy. She lives in the Finger Lakes Region of New York with her husband and compulsory, deliberately spoiled, cats. The newest addition to their household, an energetic setter-shepherd mix, has been trying for six years to gain acceptance from the cats but is adored by the humans. 

Since the moment she read her first novel, Summer’s passion has always been writing. As a child growing up on a dairy farm, she built castles made of hay and wielded swords made of fence posts. She is also passionate about animals, travel, and organizing her closet. Nothing pleases her more than a row of tops broken down by sleeve length and ordered by color…except working on her latest novel with her cats in her lap, her dog lounging on the rug, and a cup of tea. 

For more about Summer, visit

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