Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Q&A with Louisa Edwards... and a giveaway!!!

1. Tell us about your newest release.

Louisa: On the Steamy Side is the second book in my Recipe for Love series; it’s connected to my debut culinary romance, Can’t Stand the Heat, but if you haven’t read that one, don’t worry about it. On the Steamy Side can definitely be read as a stand-alone story! It’s about jaded, cynical celebrity chef Devon Sparks, whose entire life is being turned inside out. Here’s the blurb:

She’s Never Met A Man So Mouth-Watering

When Lilah Jane Tunkle fled her dull life in Virginia for the bright lights of New York City, she didn’t expect to wind up a nanny to a gorgeous celebrity chef’s ten-year-old son. Working for the delectable Devon Sparks is a sure-fire recipe for disaster, especially after Lilah gets a tantalizing taste of his perfectly seasoned kisses . . .

And He Can’t Resist Her Down-Home Spice

Devon’s not sure he can handle one more surprise ingredient in his life—he left his popular TV show, his culinary reputation is on the line, and now the son he barely knows is back for seconds. Lilah’s Southern sass is supposed to keep the boy in line, but soon enough she’s teaching Devon a thing or two about homespun food . . . and turning up the heat.

2. Can you tell us a little about your favorite scene in the story?

Louisa: Ooh, that’s a tough one! I think I’d have to go with the scene where Lilah finally confronts Devon about his reasons for having been so hands-off with his son. Devon’s answers are not at all what she wants to hear, but Devon is unflinching about casting himself as the villain of the piece, and it becomes a real turning point in their relationship. It was exciting to write, because it felt fresh and different, and I’m proud of the way it turned out.

3. When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?

Louisa: I think all writers are readers first. I got addicted to romance novels at a young age, stealing Harlequins out of my grandmother’s suitcase. As I devoured stories of knights, princesses, billionaire tycoons, and cowboys, the desire to spin my own stories grew in the back of my mind. I got sidetracked for a while by becoming a junior editor at a major publishing house, which was a job I totally adored. I learned a ton and enjoyed it a lot, but when we moved away from New York, I knew the time had come for me to give writing a real try.

4. Where do you get your information or ideas for your stories?

Louisa: I get inspiration from a lot of different sources—cooking TV shows, chef memoirs, cookbooks, and my own experiences in restaurants and in the kitchen.

5. What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?

Louisa: I’d say my favorite quirk is my fondness for romantic subplots—I just can’t get enough of them! They can be used to explore pairings that push the envelope of mainstream romance, a way to play with fresh, exciting stories that you might not otherwise have the chance to explore. I love to read them, and I love to write them.

6. What was one of the most surprising things you learned in creating your books?

Louisa: I was surprised to learn how willful characters can be sometimes. When I was an editor, I tended toward skepticism when authors would complain about their stubborn characters who wouldn’t do what they were supposed to. I would think to myself, “You’re the writer! Just write it the way you want it to be!” Now I understand a little better. It’s not that the characters are so intractable, it’s that sometimes the author’s subconscious sees through the story plan to what the core of a character should be. If you’re open to that kind of discovery, it can be both a revelation and a complete pain in the behind.

7. What authors or friends influenced you in helping you become a writer?

Louisa: My agent, Deidre Knight, was the one who first told me to quit writing to a trend and to write a book I felt truly connected to, and it was absolutely the advice that led to selling the Recipe for Love series to St. Martin’s Press. Before I started it, I was sure no one in NY would want a culinary romance with a chef hero—but it matched my interests so perfectly, I decided to write it for myself, without worrying about hitting the market or what an editor might think. It’s important to know your genre and your market, but getting too hung up on the current trends can be very stifling, creatively.

8. What does your family think about your career as a published author?

Louisa: My husband is wonderfully supportive and one of my first readers when I finish a draft of a manuscript. My other early readers? My mother and my sister. My writing career is a family affair!

9. Besides writing, what other interests do you have?

Louisa: Well, I love to cook, and I love to try new foods, which goes well with my interest in travel. Traveling is hard on my deadlines, though, so I try to supplement by being adventurous in what I cook. Every year, I set myself a culinary goal, either to attempt an unfamiliar technique, like making a terrine, or to tackle something I’m a little afraid of, like shucking oysters or boiling a lobster. Keeps things interesting!

10. Can you tell us about what's coming up next for you writing wise?

Louisa: The third Recipe for Love novel goes on sale August 31st. Just One Taste is the final book in what I’m calling the Market Trilogy, the first three books of the series, all of which center around the kitchen crew of a Manhattan eatery called Market. My next trilogy will be out in 2011, and it follows a group of talented, passionate young cooks as they compete for the title of Best American Chef. I’m so excited about everything that’s coming up with this series, and I hope readers are, too!

You can read all my Recipe for Love novels as stand-alones—and be just fine. But I know a lot of readers like to start a series at the very beginning, so from me to one lucky commentator today: an autographed copy of Can’t Stand the Heat, my very first Recipe for Love novel!


Thanks for being our guest and giving away a terrific prize!
To learn more about Louisa Edwards, go to


Patti (@TheLoveJunkee) said...

I just finished Can't Stand the Heat last night and loved it! I stayed up late to finish it. Loved the book, and the secondary story - I won't spoil for other commenters but it was an unexpected treat.

Looking forward to Devon's story - congratulations on your release!

Karen H said...

I've never read your work but I would love the chance to 'devour' this book! LOL...couldn't resist! Congratulations on the latest release.

CrystalGB said...

Hi Louisa. Great interview. Your books sound wonderful. :)

Sherry said...

I've got your first book but I haven't had a chance to read it yet but I have read your short stories on your website and loved them. Hopefully I'll have time to read your book soon.

Syeda Nessa said...

i would love to read your book.

Cheryl said...

I just finished On The Steamy Side and I LOVED IT. I am looking forward to #3 and without giving anything away...I am hoping for a happy ending for a special couple. Can you give me a hint?
Don't enter me in the contest since I already own both books and someone else should get started on the series

Reading said...

Great interview! I would love to win the first in the series, they look like great reads!

lizzi0915 at aol dot com

tetewa said...

I'm always looking for new authors to read, enjoyed the post today!

traveler said...

I enjoyed the interesting interview. The book sounds like a wonderful and special story. thanks.

Sweet Vernal Zephyr said...

Nice interview! I love to read romances that involve food.. 'cause I love food too!

Kristen Painter said...

Love, love, love this series! And the best part is it's calorie free! lol

Cherie J said...

Enjoyed the interview. I love romance books with a cooking theme and this one sounds so good. Thanks for the chance to win a copy of the first book of the series.

Anonymous said...

What a great combo, romance and food! Well anything really with either one of those is a winner with me! I would love to win, please count me in!


M. said...

I love the idea of a novel about a celebrity chef - such big and extreme personalities, and all the drama that that attracts. I also like the idea of a foodie who admits to being intimidated by certain foods or cooking techniques! Best of luck on this release.

mayamissani AT yahoo DOT ca

Estella said...

I have not read your work yet.
I enjoy books with a cooking theme, and am looking forward to reading your series.

kissinoak at verizon dot net

Louisa Edwards said...

Wow, I've been on a plane all day, and I get to my hotel to find all these lovely comments! Thank you to Romance Reviews Today for having me here, and to all of you for showing up.

Patti - So glad you enjoyed CStH! Great side benefit of a new book coming out that I never thought of is readers finding the first one.

Karen H - LOL! If that's your sense of humor, you probably WILL enjoy my books. ; )

CrystalGB - Thanks!

Sherry - Fingers crossed! I like the idea of my book being your stress relief when things calm down a bit. : )

Syeda Nessa - Good luck with the giveaway!

Cheryl - You made my day! And I don't think it's spoiling too much to say that JUST ONE TASTE (8/31/10) concludes the Market Trilogy and all its storylines. I think you'll be pleased. *wink*

Bethie - Good luck!

Tetewa - I love readers who give new authors a chance! Thank you.

Traveler - Thanks for commenting!

Sweet Vernal Zephyr - Sounds like the Recipe for Love novels are right up your alley...

Kristen - Fictional calories consumed by characters in a book *totally* don't count. My books are fat free, too!

Cherie J - Culinary romances are the best! I might be biased, though...

Book Junkie - Best of luck with the giveaway!

M - Hmmm, a foodie who's scared of certain foods? I might have to steal that idea from you! LOL

Estella - I look forward to hearing what you think of the series!

Unknown said...

It's a great book :) I got an early peek at it and I enjoyed it muchly.

Jennifer Leeland said...

OMG! I love the premise of this book, Louisa!
And what you said about writing a book you're connected to really spoke to me.
Awesome interview.

LSUReader said...

Food and romance--what's not to love? Your books sound great. The chef's competition for your next series sounds like a winner, too. Thanks for visiting.

Cecile Smutty Hussy said...

Ohhhh a chance at winning the first one!! I like this giveaway.. that way I can start at the beginning. My OCD will not let me read out of order! LOL! Yea, go figure!
Love the idea of the books though. Thanks for introducing me to a new to me author!!! Please put my name in the hat!

Spav said...

I've never read any of your books, but they sound very interesting.

Louisa Edwards said...

Kate - Your check is in the mail. LOL

Jennifer Leeland - Glad if I could say something that resonated with a fellow writer and Diva!

LSUReader - I can't wait for the Best American Chef Trilogy to hit shelves. It's a blast to write!

Cecile - I looove reading series in order, but I will say my books can definitely be read as stand alone stories. Good luck!

Spav - Thanks for being willing to try someone new!

Lil said...

I love food and I love romance. Your series sounds like it would really hit the spot.

Lady_Graeye said...

Is there anything better than a little food, a little romance and a hot looking man? Nope, I don't think so...well maybe a little chocolate. Please count me in!

Martha Lawson said...

Your books sound wonderful!! Please enter me for aa chance to win..

Paranormal and Romantic Suspense Reviews said...

Great interview and I've been wanting to read this series since I've first heard about it!

Thanks for a chance to win a copy!

CallMeKayla said...

this sounds great! I prefer reading series in order, it seems to make things a bit easier. I would love to win!

Louisa Edwards said...

Lil - Nice play on words! I think you might enjoy the Recipe for Love novels. : )

Lady_Graeye - My books are better than chocolate because they're calorie-free...Just saying!

Martha Lawson - I will! Good luck.

Razlover's Book Blog - You're welcome!

CallMeKayla - I always want to start at the beginning too.

Louisa Edwards said...

As so many people here are new to the series (and since I finally got my author copies of On the Steamy Side) I think I'll up the ante on the giveaway to a signed copy of both books!

Patti, when are we choosing a winner?

Patti said...

Louisa, I just did and will put up a separate post for everyone to see. ;-)

Thanks for being a guest!

Louisa Edwards said...

Thank you for having me! It was tons of fun, and we got a great turnout.

mrsshukra said...

Louisa Edwards is a new author for me, I'm always excited to discover new authors!


donnas said...

Great interview. Congrats on the new release. Your series sounds great and I am looking forward to starting it.

bacchus76 at myself dot com

Pat L. said...

nothing better than a good book and good food and some new recipes to try.

I Loved your first book and look forward to this one.