Happy Tuesday, Reader Friends!
We’re continuing this week with another interview. This time we have Elizabeth Maddrey visiting today. She’s stopped by to discuss her latest Arcadia Valley romance, Cookies & Candlelight. I’m loving all of these covers, are you?
About the Book
The Blurb: “What will it take for a former starlet to find love with an average Joe?
After the accident that killed her husband five years ago, Serena Johnson left Hollywood—and her stage name—behind to set up shop as a potter. Her online business keeps her occupied and fulfilled, but she misses having someone special to share her life.
Micah Baxter has enjoyed the year he’s worked in his family’s bakery in Arcadia Valley, even if his siblings are all finding love, leaving him the odd man out. When Micah delivers the cookies Serena ordered for an event at her pottery studio, the attraction between them is hard to deny. But so are their differences.
Having been a fan when he was younger, Micah knows all about Serena’s bad-girl history. So how can he trust the feelings that grow between them? And if Hollywood comes calling, will Serena be content to stay?”
Toni: Welcome! I’m so excited you’re here today to talk about Cookies & Candlelight. I adore all these covers for your Arcadia Valley Romance, not to mention the title. How did you come up with this one’s?
Elizabeth: Thanks! I’m really pleased with our covers too! Titles are usually my downfall – I agonize over them and usually don’t have one until after the book is written. But for this project, since it’s multi-author, they wanted titles ahead of time, so I spent…probably a week brainstorming words that would go with a bakery-themed series. Once I settled on Loaves & Wishes for the novella that kicked off the series, I had the format down and from there, it was a matter of coming up with options that worked.
Toni: It works! The titles are so fun and romantic! I love the premise of this book! Where did you come up with the idea?
Elizabeth: I play a lot of “what if” games in my head when I’m doing things like cleaning bathrooms or vacuuming (gotta do something to keep from realizing just how much I dislike cleaning!) So I started wondering what would send a child star to a small town in Idaho, and what would happen if she fell in love with a regular guy. And that was the seed.
Toni: Ugh, chores! I’ll have to remember the “what if” game the next time I’m doing them. What is the message you hope readers will leave with after reading Cookies & Candlelight?
Elizabeth: That God can redeem your past if you let Him. But you have to be willing to let go of it for that to happen.
Toni: The agony of letting go. So excited to read this book! Will there be more books in Arcadia Valley and if so, can we get a hint of the next one?
Elizabeth: I have one more book set in Arcadia Valley yet to come – Donuts & Daydreams will be out in March 2018. (There are quite a few other books in the series from the other authors – I believe we’ll have one a month through June of 2018!) Donuts & Daydreams is the last Baxter sibling, Jonah. He’s been flirting with Gloria, a police officer, since the novella kicked the series off. Now that all his siblings have paired off, he’s getting a little more serious about pursuing a happily ever after of his own.
Toni: Love the title of that one! Sounds like it’s going to be another awesome read. Who are your top 3 favorite authors and why are they favorites?
Elizabeth: This is so hard. I don’t want to leave anyone out! And it also depends on genre (I read in SO many genres…and I have favorites in all of them.) So, let’s see. I’ve really been loving Lynnette Eason’s Elite Guardians series lately, so that’s bumped her up to my favorite romantic suspense author right now. I also adore anything by Susanna Kearsley – her books aren’t Christian, but they’re pretty clean and I simply love her use of language and how she weaves a mystery through stories in two timelines. Honestly, sometimes I’ll finish one of her books and flip right back to page one to start it again because I’m not willing to be done with the world she created. Finally, I think I have to include Anne McCaffrey. Again, not Christian fiction, but reading her books when I was younger directly influenced my desire to write. I consider so many of her characters my best friends from middle and high school.
Toni: I LOVED the Elite Guardians series. I’ll have to check out the other two ladies. 🙂 Do you eat while writing or are you completely focused?
Elizabeth: I try not to eat, but I wouldn’t say I’m completely focused either as I’ve always got an ear out for my boys. If I’m munchy, I like to have a little bowl of trail mix nearby. I delude myself that it’s healthy.
Toni: Don’t tell me it’s not, lol. Do you need complete silence or do you listen to music while writing?
Elizabeth: Silence. Hahahaha. There is never silence in my house. I don’t listen to music, though. Generally I write to the sounds of two boys playing some variation on “how can I annoy my brother just enough that he doesn’t go and tattle on me?”
Toni: Lol. I’ve heard that game before. My boys love it. 😉 Before you go, can you share any advice for aspiring writers?
Elizabeth: I spent a lot of time trying to shoehorn myself into the form of a plotter. So my advice is to find what works for you and do that, rather than going with the books that say it “must” be done a certain way. ‘Cause there really isn’t a 100% effective way that works for everyone. Play around until you find what does work for you. And know that may change from book to book.
Toni: Amen! Thank you so much for joining me today. I enjoyed it. 🙂 Readers, do you have any questions for Elizabeth?
About the Author
Elizabeth Maddrey began writing stories as soon as she could form the letters properly and has never looked back. Though her practical nature and love of math and organization steered her into computer science for college and graduate school, she has always had one or more stories in progress to occupy her free time. When she isn’t writing, Elizabeth is a voracious consumer of books and has mastered the art of reading while undertaking just about any other activity. She loves to write about Christians who struggle through their lives, dealing with sin and receiving God’s grace.
Elizabeth lives in the suburbs of Washington D.C. with her husband and their two incredibly active little boys.