**Update: Cooking Up Love is now available as an eBook through All Romance eBooks, Amazon. and Barnes and Noble
What happens when a handsome, suave chef meets a cute, sassy food critic who can cook just as well as he can? Justin and Shelbi find out that their two passions–cooking and love–go hand in hand.
The idea hit me for Cooking Up Love while my hubsand and I were in his hometown of Memphis, TN for Memphis in May in 2010. We stayed downtown in his cousin’s loft and I just loved the atmosphere and the scenary. Beale Street with blues clubs open all night, delicious barbeque and the trolley. I think I rode the trolley just for fun. We were driving on Shelby Street the second day and I said “Honey, I think I want a series set here in Memphis.” I took out my iPhone and started typing up ideas. I immediately named my heroine Shelbi because 1) we were on Shelby Street and 2) the county of Memphis is Shelby.
The next day, we walked from the loft to the park where Memphis in May was held and I got the idea that the hero would be a chef. That night, we went to Beale Street (by trolley, of course) to listen to blues at B.B. Kings and I knew that my hero (still unnamed at the time) would own a dinner and blues club. On the seven hour drive back to Atlanta, I had a full outline typed in my iPhone. Yes, hubby drove the entire way. Poor thing, but he was so excited about my idea that he didn’t care. Hubby named my hero, Justin Richardson and helped me work through my brain blockage along with my friend and critique partner Delaney Diamond.
The book is complete and I’ve shopped it around to a few publishers but because of my writing style, it just wasn’t working. My books are contemporary romance, but I’ve never been one to follow a guideline. I strut to the beat of my own drum (its sort of jazzy, down-to-earth and classy with Coltrane and Duke Ellington playing Sentimental Mood and Beyonce singing whatever she feels like in the background) and my books represent that as well.
So, I’m in limbo. I’m waiting to hear back from the last editor I sent the manuscript to for consideration. I’ve also been bit by the self-publishing bug as well and I’m almost hoping the editor says no. I know odd right? But I’ll keep you posted.
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Candace, come on over to Indie Publishiing! So good to see your website. Congratulations on your first blog post and new website. Excitement!
That may be the direction I’m going in! I’ll be picking your’s Delaney’s brains really soon. Hurry up with the workshop you two have planned!
I’ve only read the first chapter of Justin and Shelbi’s story but I’m already in love with them.
Thank you Carmen. I’m actually more excited about your upcoming project! Love your name by the way!
Hey Candace, glad I have another blog to follow! Can’t wait to read the rest of Shelbi and Justin’s story…no matter (I know – bad English), but no matter how it’s published (traditional or indie). Best of luck in your writing career, and I’m looking forward to following this exciting new journey. Keep us posted!
Thank you Sharon. Don’t worry, I’m sure I’ll be sending you more to critique in the near future. Thank you for everything.