Our interview today is with Candace Shaw the author of Cooking Up Love which is the first book in the Arrington Family Series. Before the interview a brief book description. What happens when a suave, handsome chef meets a cute, sassy food critic?
When Shelbi Arrington accepts a position as a food critic in the hopes of burying her medical career and foregoing her residency, the last thing she’s searching for is love. However, that’s just what the doctor ordered especially when she lays eyes on the handsome chef, Justin Richardson. While sorting out her secret conflict of continuing her medical career, she falls for his mouth-watering charm, leaving her hungry for anything he has to offer. Justin is leery of doctors because a doctor’s negligence caused his mother’s death when he was twelve. He has put his focus and energy into his restaurant, which had been a dream he and his mother shared. Justin is immediately smitten by the cute, sassy food critic that has him cooking up different ways to please her appetite. But when things start to heat up, Shelbi learns of a shocking revelation that could extinguish the flame of their relationship. Will Justin be able to forget his pain and commit to the woman who has stolen his heart?
Interview with Candace Shaw
Tell the readers a little about yourself.
I live in Metro-Atlanta with my husband and our pets, a parakeet and a Weimaraner. I’m originally from Florida but moved to Atlanta after I graduated from college. I write African-American contemporary romance novels. I read a variety of genres including historical, paranormal, chick lit and women’s fiction. I love to shop, garden and eat out.
What came first with this story, the characters or the plot? Why?
The characters came first because I was inspired while visiting Memphis, Tennessee. I was contemplating a series centered around five siblings and Memphis seemed like the perfect city with blues, barbecue and the downtown trolley. While sampling barbecue at the Memphis in May festival, I got the idea to make the heroine a food critic and the hero a restaurant owner and chef like my grandfather.
What was your favorite part of Cooking Up Love?
Quite a few actually. But one that comes to mind is when Shelbi and Justin first meet on the trolley. She’s digging around in her purse for money to pay the trolley fare. People are behind her screaming at her to move or hurry up and then Justin appears. The other one is when Shelbi, who is a food critic, doesn’t really like Justin’s signature barbecue sauce at his restaurant. They get into an argument over the fact she actually wrote that in her article about her dining experience. She tells him to bottle his arrogant and pompous attitude and then storms out. Later on that evening, Justin stops by her home with new and improved barbecue sauces for her to sample. One of the bottles is empty, but it has a label that says “Justin’s arrogant and pompous attitude.” She finds it cute and forgives him.
How did you choose the names for Shelbi and Justin?
The county of Memphis is Shelby. I’ve always thought it was a cute name in general, so it seemed appropriate to name my heroine Shelbi but with an “i.” Her last name, Arrington, is the maiden name of one my dearest friends and I’ve always liked it. My husband picked Justin’s name but no particular reason. I asked him for a name when we were driving back to Atlanta from Memphis and he said Justin Richardson.
What was the biggest setback in writing a series?
Not sure about it being a setback but just making sure that how I describe a character, such as eye color, hair color, etc. or giving them a certain personality in one book, that I make sure those things do not change in the books to follow.
Can you give us a sneak peek of your next book?
Sure. The next book in the Arrington Family Series, The Game of Seduction, is about Dr. Bria Arrington, an allergist who works for her family’s medical practice. Much to her father’s dismay, she prefers to incorporate holistic and naturopathic medicine with traditional for her patients. She wants to practice freely, but her father is against it, therefore Bria is contemplating accepting a position in Atlanta at a medical practice that will allow her to do both. On top of all that, she is falling for her best friend the handsome, arrogant, mocha-covered playboy, Rasheed Vincent. An ex professional basketball player, he is a self-proclaimed, life-long bachelor after his fiancée left him for another basketball player when Rasheed hurt his knee and opted to retire. This book definitely has some hot scenes and more of a sexy tone unlike Cooking Up Love, which was more of a fun and flirty tone, in my opinion. The Game of Seduction will be released in September 2012.
Get your copy of Cooking Up Love on Amazon.
How can readers get in contact with you?