Category Archives: Rachel Hauck

Dining With Joy

Hi, y’all! I’d like for you to welcome Rachel Hauck today! She’s discussing her latest book and it sure looks good!

Dining with Joy by Rachel Hauck

Thanks for having me today!

I’m no genius in the kitchen, but my heroine, Joy Ballard, finds herself doing a job she can’t do for all the right reasons. She’s a cooking show host who can’t cook!
When I started this book, that premise got a good laugh from those who heard it. Then, I’d ask, “But what’s that story about?”
The person would shrug. “I don’t know.”
“Yeah, me neither.”

I had to ask a lot of questions about what a woman hosts a cooking show when she can’t so much as fry eggs. I didn’t want an insincere, lying heroine. She’s not a manipulator or conniver.

Joy simply found herself filling a job she was asked to do – by her father. She was great in front of the camera. Just not behind the stove.

Not long ago, I stood on stage at church with my worship team praying before the service started. Head back, eyes close, I said in my heart, “Lord, help us. You have to help me. I’m so weak in leading worship. I cannot do it without You.”

While I’m a decent singer, and I can lead the people to worship Jesus, I’m not a musician. I’m not one who can skillfully bring the band and the worship sound together. And until I found myself with a “starting over” band, I never realized how gaping this weakness was for me.

A few days later, I was thinking of all the great worship leaders, singers and musicians. Of great writers. And I just felt weak and inadequate in the two main callings of my life.

Again, I went to the Lord. “Why can’t You find a good worship leader for church? Why can’t you help me be a more successful writer? I see people who are good at what they do, succeeding.”

This is what He said to me. “… most people won’t give me their weaknesses.”

I was stopped cold. I understood that a lot of times God invites us on a journey to participate with Him in some aspect of our lives or others, but because we are not good at that thing, or because we are weak with fear or shame or whatever, we say no.

It’s in our weaknesses His strength is manifest. God is not looking for mighty men and women, He’s looking for weak men and women in which HE can show His might.

Don’t misunderstand, God loves excellence, skill and devotion. While leading worship practices, I have to be excellent as I can be to bring the team and songs together.

I’ll never have a recording or national ministry as a worship leader, but for our little church in Florida, I’m God’s girl. For now.

That, in some ways, is Joy’s journey. She said yes to her father’s desire.
Can we say “Yes?” to our Father’s desire for us? Offer Him all of our strengths AND weaknesses? He’s more than willing to overcome.

In my story, Joy’s secret is revealed and takes a pretty good tumble, but love is waiting to catch her. In the form of cowboy chef and hero, Luke Redmond.

Sigh… Love wins.

One of the things Joy discovers along the way is her father’s banana bread recipe. It’s delish!

Here it is:

Charles Ballard’s Banana Bread
From Connie Spangler

1 3/4 cups flour
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1t. baking soda
1/2t. salt
1/2t. cinnamon
2 eggs
3 mashed ripe bananas
1/2 cup oil (I use canola)
1/4 cup plus 1 T. buttermilk
1t. vanilla
1/2 cup choc. chips
1/2 cup p.butter chips

In a large bowl stir together flour, sugars, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon. In another bowl, combine eggs, bananas, oil, buttermilk and vanilla. Add to flour mixture, stirring just until moistened. Fold in chips. Pour into a greased 9-in. x 3-in. loaf pan. Bake at 325 for 1 hour and 20 minutes or until it tests done. Cool on a rack 10 minutes before removing from pan.

Tips for baking banana bread:
DON’T over mix the batter, just until moistened. Banana bread is always best if after its cooled to wrap up and serve the next day.


Rachel lives in central Florida with her husband and writes books from the second floor of what she calls her “turret tower.” A gift from the Lord. Besides “Dining with Joy,” Rachel has written fourteen other novels. Also out is “Softly and Tenderly” which Rachel wrote with country artist, Sara Evans.

Visit her web site at


Rachel Hauck and Lola

Please welcome my sweet friend, Rachel Hauck and her dog, Lola, today!

Le: What is your favorite kind of a pet? Dog, cat, guinea pig? And why?

RH: Dogs! I love, love dogs. Mostly because I grew up with them, and have had four since my husband and I got married. But I think if I’d had a horse my answer might be different. I like animals that can “relate” to me. Like, my dog is voice trained so it’s like having a kid. Only she doesn’t talk back. 😉

Le: Doesn’t talk back? Wow, I like that. My sister had a Siberian Husky and she definitely talked back. My Hilo Monster does too. Maybe it’s all in the training. 😉 How many pets do you have today?

RH: We have a mini Schnauzer and an 18 year old cat. We love him, too. He’s out lived three other dogs. He’s king of the house.

Le: Wow! 18 years. That must be more than 9 lives, huh? Have you ever rescued an animal?

RH: I kind of rescued our dog Pal, a Sheltie-Beagle mix. Our friends had him from puppyhood, but they were not pet people. So my husband and I took him in. After all, our dog Jack was his dad. A-hem. But we didn’t want two dogs and I thought I’d find a good home for him. Never, ever, ever put an ad in the paper, “free dog.” All the weirdos come out of the wood work. Lesson learned. I rescued Pal from that situation a few days after I gave him away. We did have a few more responses to the ad that sounded like really good families, but I couldn’t bear to give him away again. He died a month before his 10th birthday.

Our Schnauzer I kind of rescued. I found her walking down the road. A few days later, the owner responded to my “found dog” ad in the paper and gave her to me.

Le: Oh, how sweet! Do you ever incorporate animals into your novels?

RH: Yes! There’s a dog in The Sweet By and By who I just loved.

Le: I can’t wait to read that book! What was your favorite character animal?

RH: Bugs Bunny. Hobbs.

Le: My kids love Hobbs too. Has one of your own pets been the inspiration for a pet/character in a novel?

RH: Not really. I suppose the dog in the Sweet By and By is a combination of all my dogs.

Le: Gotta use those experiences, don’t we? What is the funniest thing you’ve seen one of your animals do?

RH: The list is long and varied, enhanced by the fact my husband and I picked up a trait of my brothers: talking for the animals. We’ve had some fall down laughs talking for our cat, then watching the cat “do” what we “said” he was doing.

The funniest thing though was with our cat and our Sheltie, Blue. One week we noticed Blue hanging back when it was bed time. He wasn’t crossing the living room into our bed room. We’d call him and he wouldn’t come. Finally, one night my husband decided to walk him to our room. As Blue passed by the darkened dining room, Red the cat (yeah, we know, Red the cat and Blue the dog, but my parents named the dog) jumps out of the shadows, paws waving, attacking the dog.

Blue darts into our room, growling, and jumps on the bed. Red, casually, oh so casually walks in as if he had NO idea what was going on. He sat at the foot of the bed catatonic. Suddenly, he jumps up and whaps the bed right by Blue with his paw. “Wam! Wam! Wam!”

Oh, it was so funny. He was intentionally hiding from Blue, leaping out to spook him, then taunting him.

Le: That’s hilarious. Love it! Is there a secret that only our pet knows?

RH: They know nothing!

Le: Hmmm. Sounds like they know a lot. Can’t wait to talk to Lola. 😉 What is your pet’s pet peeve about you?

RH: What? They adore me!

Le: What is your pet peeve about your pet?

RH: The cat comes in my office every night and meows really, really loud. It’s really nerve wracking when I’m on deadline.

Le: I bet. Those kind of yowls can go right to the base of the spine, can’t they?
Thank you so much, Rachel, for taking the time to be with us! Now, I’d love to ask your pet, Lola, a few questions. Don’t forget to give your sweet pet a treat afterwards. ☺

Le: Hi, Lola! So good to have you here today. What would be the title of your autobiography?

RH: My Mom is the gweatest!

Le: Ah, I love to hear that! If you were to write a novel, would your friend inspire one of the characters?

RH: She would be the kind Queen of the Universe.

Le: Rachel is one of the nicest people I know. What’s your favorite movie?

RH: Hm, we don’t watch many movies but I wuv the dog Eddie on Frawsier.

Le: Oh, yeah. Frasier is a hoot! What musical instrument would you like to play?

RH: I’m a singer. Ooowwwwwllll

Le: And quite a lovely voice you have! You should help Rachel with worship. What do you think about cats? Dogs?

RH: Dis is Lola, da dog. Cats bug me. Dogs annoy me. I wuv peoples.

Le: And peoples wuv you. Where do you sleep at night?

RH: Between my parwents.

Le: A very good place indeed! What do you do when your friend is writing?

RH: Sleep at her feet. She needs me.

Le: I’m sure she does! I bet you’re good at brainstorming. What is your idea of bliss?

RH: Widing in the car wif my mom to McDonalds. Especially of the top is down.

Le: Does she give you any fries? She should. ☺ What is your friend’s idea of bliss?

RH: Same as mine of course.

Le: Thank you so much for being with us today! You take care of your friend, Rachel, now, ya hear?

RH: Thanks for having us!!

Le: My pleasure, Rachel! And Lola too!