Dear Readers, I knew Cecelia from the ACFW email loop. When we had our
national conference, we had a
giant book signing that stretched down the Mall of America main corridor quite
a ways. Cecelia was next to me at the table where I was signing books. The
event covered several hours, and we got to know each other there. I’m really
pleased to share her new book with you. Minneapolis
Welcome back, Cecelia. God has really been moving in your writing life. What do you see on the horizon?
I’d like to write as many books as I can while searching for people to read my stories. I’ve started promoting my novels to secular readers. I’ve actually found some people who’ve read my books and said they’ve been enlightened by my stories. These readers usually read hot, steamy romances, and they felt it was touching to read a story about characters who turn to God for answers to their troubles.
I’d also love to make a living with my writing someday, Lord willing.
That’s what we all want. Way to go. Tell us a little about your family.
I’ve been married to a wonderful man for twelve years. We have a ten-year-old son. Our son has a black belt in karate, and he’s an honor roll student. He also loves to play video games. Both my husband and my son love sports. While they watch basketball and football games, I’m usually reading a book!
I read a lot of books while James and I are watching the
Rangers baseball team on TV. We hardly miss a game, and I get a lot of books
read that way. I occasionally write during that time, too. Has your writing
changed your reading habits? If so, how? Texas
I noticed since I’ve started writing Christian fiction that that is what I mostly read. Yes, I still read secular fiction, but, I read it sparingly.
Me, too. What are you working on right now?
Right now I’m working on Sweet Dreams, Book 3 in The Bakery Romance Series.
What outside interests do you have?
I love to bake! I love baking cookies and cakes. I also enjoy some gardening.
How do you choose your settings for each book?
I tend to choose places that are familiar to me. If I’m using a fictional town, I usually set it in
since I’ve lived in Maryland
my entire life.
If you could spend an evening with one historical person, who would it be and why?
I’d like to talk to the Apostle Paul. I’ve been amazed and curious about the lives of the early Christians. I’d like to sit and talk to the Apostle Paul, discuss what’s going on in the world today. I’d like to hear what he thinks about the way the church has evolved over the last two thousand years.
What is the one thing you wish you had known before you started writing novels?
I wish I’d known that I wanted to write novels! I didn’t realize I wanted to be a writer until I was almost thirty years old! If I’d known this earlier, I may have gotten my writing career started earlier.
I wrote my first novel in my forties. What new lessons is the Lord teaching you right now?
Patience. I’m still learning patience. So difficult not to be anxious about certain things, but, I’m working on that with the Lord’s help.
What are the three best things you can tell other authors to do to be successful?
Go to a writers’ conference and network with other authors. Read all of the books that you possibly can that are within the genre that you are targeting. Write the book – I’ve met so many “writers” that talk about writing, but, they don’t actually write anything.
Tell us about the featured book.
Shades of Chocolate: Toni enjoys making chocolate treats in her bakery. Haunted by her abusive past, she struggles with her faith in God. Her world changes when a handsome stranger arrives, reminiscing about his childhood. Jason Matthews misses his days of working in his family's pastry shop. Estranged from his father, he longs to rediscover the joy and comfort from baking. When Toni's life is threatened, Jason realizes how deeply he cares for her. Can Toni and Jason overcome their pasts and learn to trust one another?
Please give us the first page of the book.
The security guard grinned at Toni, wiping the crumbs away from his mouth. He placed the partially-eaten pink, heart-shaped cupcake on a napkin. “Happy Valentine’s Day.”
She returned his smile, snuggling beneath the winter cape her fiancé Brian had gotten for her last birthday. “Happy Valentine’s Day to you, too.” She took a deep breath, trying to calm her racing heart. “I’m here to see Brian Carter.”
The guard nodded. “Go on up. His admin told me you’d be stopping by for lunch.”
“Thanks.” Toni’s high-heeled shoes tapped against the waxed floor as she strolled toward the elevator. Clutching the handle of her picnic basket, she entered, pressing the button for the third floor. “I’ve got to make it through this lunch.” She closed her eyes, the cool interior of the carpeted elevator bringing her a little comfort. Hopefully, her surprise Valentine’s Day lunch with Brian would give them a chance to talk about the problems they’d been having.
She exited the elevator, strolled to the double oak doors that led to Brian’s office. She slowly opened the door, blinked several times, her heart pounding. What in the world? This had to be a bad dream. Brian clutched his secretary, Gia, in his arms, kissing her! He moaned, opened his eyes, spotted Toni in the doorway. He dropped his arms, his light brown skin reddening.
“Toni—” He started toward her.
She froze, unable to move. She finally backed up, slamming into the wall behind her, her eyes locked with Brian’s. She opened her mouth, but she couldn’t speak. She glanced at Gia, who grinned, her eyes sparkling. Gia’s unbuttoned blouse granted Toni a peek at the lacy pattern of her bra. Finally finding her voice, Toni groaned, closing her eyes, her heart continuing to pound.
She swallowed when Brian approached, the tangy scent of his cologne surrounding her. She’d usually found joy in Brian’s scent, but now, the nauseous odor of his aftershave just made her sick. He reached for her.
“Don’t touch me!”
“Baby, just give me a minute to explain.” His deep voice filled the room, as Toni made her way toward the door. Gia buttoned her blouse, grabbed her pantyhose from the floor and rushed from the office.
The chocolate muffin Toni had eaten an hour ago swirled in her stomach. A sour taste filled her mouth. The picnic basket slipped from her sweaty, shaky hands and fried chicken and chocolate pie exploded from the container onto Brian’s immaculate beige carpet. Her Valentine’s Day card landed on top of the pie. The intermingled scents of chicken and chocolate filled her nose, the food making her stomach cramp. She pressed her fingers to her quivering mouth. A sour taste filled her tongue. Brian approached her, grabbed her arm.
Vomit gushed from her lips, right onto Brian’s fancy leather shoes. He dropped her arm.
Blackness swirled around her, and she blinked. She couldn’t faint, not right now. She needed to give Brian a piece of her mind. She glanced at him. He studied his shoes, refusing to give her any attention. Did he really care more about his shoes than their relationship?
She rushed from the room.
His voice echoed behind her but she couldn’t stop. Somehow, she finally made it outside to her car, got in, dropping her keys while trying to put them into the ignition. She couldn’t drive, not like this. Her phone buzzed, but she ignored it. Salty tears slid down her cheeks as she gripped her steering wheel.
You really caught our attention. How can readers find you on the Internet?
My website, Twitter, and Facebook links:
Thank you, Cecelia, for sharing this new book with us. I know my blog readers are eager to read it.
Readers, here’s a link to the book. By using it when you order, you help support this blog.Shades Of Chocolate (The Bakery Romance Series Book 2)
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