Monday, March 3, 2014

Guest Author: Maddie James

Please welcome Maddie James to the blog, here to talk about Perfectly Matched!

Thanks for stopping to chat! Please tell us a bit about your latest release, or what's coming up.

Hello! Thanks so much, Leigh, for having me here today. I’d love to talk about Perfectly Matched, and the rest of the Matchmaking Chef Stories. This boxed set is a collection of 8 romantic comedy novellas centers around a woman named Suzie, who lives in Legend, TN, and owns the local bed & breakfast. Suzie is a bit of a celebrity, and on her journey to foodie stardom, realizes she has the ability to matchmake. In these 8 novellas, she tries her hand (successfully, I might add) at matching some unlikely pairs. But it’s all good! Food is central in all of the stories, stirred up with some romantic comedy antics!

How did you become inspired to write this work?

Several years ago three of my best writing friends and I created a series around this small town of Legend, TN, set in the Smoky Mountains. My first story in the series featured Suzie (who was not the matchmaking chef yet). I loved her character so much, that I wrote her in as a secondary character in my second novella, Home for the Holidays, which featured her sister, Chelly. It seemed every story I wrote had a little of Suzie, and as she evolved as a character, this matchmaking chef series was born.

Did you have to do a lot of research to complete this work?

A little. But I’m a foodie and love to cook, so it was easy for me to write these stories. In fact, I want to BE Suzie when I grow up!

What is a day in your writing life like? Do you have a set schedule?

I have the 15 second commute from coffee maker to my office. I love that more than you know. After 35 years of hectic morning commutes, some of them quite lengthy, and I am simply thrilled to travel no further each morning than to my sunroom office. After that, it’s all gravy. No particular schedule. I do what needs to be done every single day.

Do you consider yourself a plotter or a pantser? Or maybe both?

I am a little bit plotter and a lot pantser. I have two things I do before I write, which could be loosely defined as plotting. Once I have those two things firm, I start writing and generally get at least three chapters complete, before I stop and do a check-in on where I am, and if I am on the right track according to those two things I worked on prior to writing. The rest of the time the story flies out of my head and off my fingers.

Do you prefer to write one specific genre, or are you a bit all over the map? What is your favorite genre to write and why?

I am all over the map. There are too many darned stories in my head, and they all do not scream one genre! Generally I write contemporary romance, romantic suspense, and paranormal. Although, I do have this YA short story. And then there is that women’s fiction novel brewing. And the cookbooks…. Well, see?

Are you published primarily in print or eBook, or both equally? Which format do you prefer and why?

Both. I love having both formats. I am also auditioning for narrators right now for audio books.

Do you own an e-reader, or maybe two? How do you like it?

Ha!  I have an original Kindle and a Kindle HD. I also have reader software on every computer, laptop in the house (which would be four of those) and I also read on my Android cell phone. I love ebooks!

Do you have any social media profiles/pages where readers can follow you?

I do. Here are my links!

The Matchmaking Chef Collection
The eight novellas of The Matchmaking Chef Series

When Suzie Matthews (Bed, Breakfast & You) accidentally cooks up a scene that causes her sister to get back together with her high school boyfriend (Home for the Holidays), she wonders if she can help other singletons living in the small mountain town of Legend, Tennessee find the loves of their lives.

Being a matchmaker isn’t really on her list of things to do—after all, she has a bed & breakfast to run, cookbooks to write, and a television show on the Food Channel to keep up with. But baking is her thing, and perhaps matchmaking can be her thing, too. After all, there is a song going through her head that goes something like this…

Matchbaker, Matchbaker, bake me a match? No wait. Make me a match. Nevermind! You get the picture, right?

Welcome to Legend, Tennessee. And welcome to the matchbaking, er, matchmaking world of Chef Suzie Matthews.

Includes the 8 novellas: Perfectly Matched, Dates Du Jour, Hot Crossed Buns, Side Dish, Mate To Order, Romancing The Scone, Better Than Chocolate, and Hard Candy Kisses, @ 133,000

Novellas also available separately.
Available at the following retailers:  AMAZON | BARNES & NOBLE | KOBO | IBOOKS | SMASHWORDS | ALL ROMANCE EBOOKS

Blurbs from each novella:

Perfectly Matched, Book One
Suzie Matthews is hard at work on her new cookbook, Perfectly Matched, when she asks the local “wallflower” to help her with a project. Mary Lou Picketts dreams of falling in love with country music star, Nash Rhodes, but is ready to settle for Thurman Phillips down the street. But she doesn’t want to. Not really. When Nash comes to Legend for a music benefit and stays at the lodge, Suzie wonders if she can perfectly match this miss-matched couple.

Hot Crossed Buns, Book Two
Wild Katie Long, she’ll never settle down. But Chris Marks has had his eye on her for a long time. When Chris hires Suzie to set him up with a romantic dinner for two, Suzie does all she can to set the mood. Thing is, Katie isn’t about to be wooed and she’s hotter than hot crossed buns when she figures out what Chris is up to. Then Suzie turns the tables by supplying Chris with a couple of items that just might tame Katie after all—handcuffs and a leather riding crop.

Dates Du Jour, Book Three
Speed dating? Speed eating is more like it. When Suzie sets up lunch date after lunch date for Lyssa Larkin, Legend’s homegrown homecoming queen of 1992, she knows she’s bit off more than she can chew. Lyssa rejects dates in two bites and sends them on their way. Suzie wonders if she really wants to date or just eat two lunches, and worries that soon Lyssa’s hips won’t fit on her dainty chairs. That is, until Suzie takes a risk with a man that Lyssa knows, but doesn’t, and who is falling for her hard and fast.

Side Dish, Book Four
Becca North doesn’t want a boyfriend but her best friend Nora certainly does. Becca is soooo off men. But when Nora, owner of Nora’s Novel Niche, meets Suzie the Matchmaking Chef, during a booksigning at her store, she pays the matchmaker to arrange a romantic picnic date lunch for her—a blind date, no less. Nora drags Becca along all the way from Pigeon Forge for moral support and to check out her date. Thing is, Nora’s date would rather check out Becca, instead.

Mate to Order, Book Five
When Suzie’s success as a matchmaker hits the national scene about the same time as her debut cooking show on the Food Channel, her new producer comes to her with a list of requirements—not for Suzie’s job, but for a husband. Patricia Plum has a specific list and if Suzie really wants to make it big in New York City, she’ll make every attempt to deliver, Patricia’s “Mate to Order.”

Romancing the Scone, Book Six
High tea or sweet tea? As long as there are scones, it doesn’t matter. In fact, Sydney Schul, owner of Sydney’s Sugar Coffee Stop and Bakery, makes the best damned scones east of the Mississippi, and there was an article written about her in Southern’s Best magazine to prove it. All is well and life in Legend is good, until a mysterious male stranger comes to town, stalking her scones and coercing Legendarians to nab her recipe.

Better than Chocolate, Book Seven
When Scott Matthews escapes to Legend to visit his brother, Brad and his wife Suzie, he has only one request—he doesn’t want to talk, smell, or taste chocolate. Nor does he want to discuss getting fired as chocolate taster from world-renowned Bianchi Chocolates. What Jillian Bass needs is to make it in Legend. This Manhattan transplant knows nothing about small town living other than she wants to make it big here real bad. Forget New York, she’s trying to set up her small chocolate shop and impress the locals. And all is fine until she smacks straight into Scott.

Hard Candy Kisses, Book Eight
New Year’s Eve is just around the corner and Legend Elementary teacher Patti Jo Baker has tried every trick in the book to land a date for the annual New Year’s Eve Bash at The Lodge. This includes setting up a kissing booth at the Legend Elementary Winter Carnival—a booth which Principal Jim Hamilton promptly shuts down. Because if Patty Jo Baker is passing out kisses, any kind of kisses, he wants to be both first, and last, in line—and he definitely doesn’t want to sample them in front of the student body.


Maddie is giving away 1 ebook copy of
The Matchmaking Chef Series Collection

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Maddie James said...

Thank you, Leigh, for hosting me today! What a cozy blog. I want to stick around here a while and peruse your posts!

Renee Vincent said...

Wow, love this blog!

And *waving* hey Maddie! So great to see your awesome boxed set here! I so enjoyed your amazes me to learn new things about an author I already love!

Best wishes and lots of happy sales to you!

Jeff Salter said...

I love the notion of creating a fictional town and having several of your colleagues write stories set there.
I think my writing M.O. is similar to yours, except that there are days when I don't get the three chapters done!
But I also have about 100 stories stacked up waiting on me to be available.

Krista said...

Thanks Leigh for hosting Maddie today and Maddie, loved the post !!

Maddie James said...

Thanks, Renee, for stopping by! I know you are so busy, I really appreciate it! It is a great blog here, isn't it?

Jeff, what? You don't write three chapters a day? (I wish I could!)
Thanks so much for stopping by today!