Please welcome author Gemma Brocato to the blog today with an interview and an excerpt of COOKING UP LOVE.
What inspired this story?
I wanted to created a series based on the five senses, starting with the sense of taste. I love to cook so it was a natural to create a world around someone who shared my passion. My heroine’s boss started whispering in my ear about Jemima George, and what an awesome chef she was. I just had to steal Jem away. I’m also a bit of a fanatic about recycling and saving the environment, so I factored that into the story, too.
Do you have a favorite scene or character from the book?
I loved writing the scene where Jack takes Jem along with his twin niece and nephew to a hockey game. They were so easy to write and so darned precocious. Adding Jem’s emotions and desires into the scene was fun, since she tried to hide her flirtatious behavior toward Jack from them. The half-pints stole the show for that scene.
If your heroine had a theme song what would it be?
Jem’s favorite song is Bob Marley’s Three Little Birds. In fact, it came up in one particularly tense moment.
Which character is most like you or unlike you?
Jem’s friend Resa is most like me in temperament. She’s funny and encouraging and very loyal.
Any chance of a sequel or a spin-off with one of the other characters?
Absolutely. The next book in the Five Senses Series, Hearts In Harmony will be out in May, 2014. It’s the story of Jack’s sister, Pippa. I’m two-thirds of the way through Sam Kerrigan’s story for the third book, Light and Shadow.
What do you like best about being a writer?
I get to wear my pajamas to work. And, no one can tell me my story is wrong. Because it’s my story
What is your writing process like?
I’m a pantser, so I just sit and write until I’ve finished with the words for the day. Because I know new ones will be there tomorrow. But I do outline and do a paragraph for each chapter.
If you get writer’s block, what do you do to snap yourself out of it?
I just wrote an article about writer’s block and how to bust through it. I try to vary my routine, or hit the gym. I’ve moved my laptop to another part of the house, hoping a new location will clear my brain. If I have a particularly bad case of it, I pull out a deck of Tarot cards, pick three and read the description for the card. I would never have thought that would work, but it helps every time.
What’s one thing that’s always on your desk?
A scented candle. Right now, it’s Autumn Leaves, but I’m about to switch to Chestnut and Clove, a great winter scent.
What would readers be surprised to know about you?
I start listening to Christmas music in July. Not the traditional stuff, but old Celtic melodies. I spent too many years marketing shopping malls I guess.
What was the last book to be added to your keeper shelf?
Suzanne Brockmann’s Breaking The Rules.
Do you organize your TBR pile?
Not really. The list is way too big
What’s next for you?
Hearts In Harmony will be released this spring and I have the next three in the series mapped out. Then I’m going to start on a new series based in wine country. I’m looking forward to that research.
His sexy baritone voice breezed up her spine and her breath stuttered as his warm hand wrapped around hers.
Oh, no. She was in trouble. Standing this close to him, he even smelled like a hot guy, fresh, outdoorsy, a hint of distinctive male. He had great hands. Narrow wrists, long, elegant fingers, calloused enough, making her imagine how they’d rasp as they trailed along her flesh. She had always been a sucker for a long-fingered man.
Time to put the brakes on those ideas. His gaze roved over her body, not hiding the fact that he was checking her out. Heat bloomed in her cheeks and she mentally shook her head to clear the fireworks going off in her imagination when she caught sight of deep dimples bracketing either side of his full, smiling lips and even white teeth. Oh good Lord, why’d he have to have dimples?
When his gaze made the journey back to hers, she looked pointedly at her hand, still clasped in his. His look was almost apologetic as he released his grip.
Gemma’s favorite desk accessories for many years were a circular wooden token, better known as a ’round tuit,’ and a fortune from a fortune cookie proclaiming her a lover of words; some day she’d write a book. All it took was a transfer to the United Kingdom, the lovely English springtime, and a huge dose of homesickness to write her first novel. Once it was completed and sent off with a kiss even the rejections, addressed to ‘Dear Author’, were gratifying.
After returning to America, she spent a number of years as a copywriter, dedicating her skills to making insurance and the agents who sell them sound sexy. Eventually, her full-time job as a writer interfered with her desire to be a writer full-time and she left the world of financial products behind to pursue an avocation as a romance author.
Her gamble paid off when she was a 2012 Finalist in the prestigious Golden Pen contest for Romantic Suspense and she received contracts for her first and second book.
Connect with Gemma on Facebook, https://www.facebook.com/gemma.brocato, Twitter, @gemmabrocato or on the web at www.Gemmabrocato.com