Tuesday, March 15, 2016

SHADES OF CHOCOLATE - Cecelia Dowdy - One Free Ebook

Dear Readers, I knew Cecelia from the ACFW email loop. When we had our Minneapolis 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.

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 Texas 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?
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 Maryland 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 fiancĂ© 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)

Leave a comment for a chance to win a free copy of the ebook. You must follow these instructions to be in the drawing. Please tell us where you live, at least the state or territory. (Comments containing links may be subject to removal by blog owner.)

Void where prohibited; the odds of winning depend on the number of entrants. Entering the giveaway is considered a confirmation of eligibility on behalf of the enterer in accord with these rules and any pertaining local/federal/international laws.

The only notification you’ll receive is the winner post on this blog. So be sure to check back a week from Saturday to see if you won. You will have 4 weeks from the posting of the winners to claim your book.

If you’re reading this on Goodreads, Google+, Feedblitz, Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, or Amazon, please come to the blog to leave your comment if you want to be included in the drawing. Here’s a link:


Anonymous said...

would love to win angela in Ky

Cecelia said...

Hi, Angela!

Thx for stopping by and for leaving a comment!

Linda Kish said...

I hope the fried chicken, chocolate pie and vomit ruined his carpet and shoes. He deserved it, even it is a book and not real life. I'd love to read more.

Linda in CA

lkish77123 at gmail dot com

Cecelia said...

Hi, Linda! Your comment made me laugh out loud! :-) He certainly did deserve it! :-)

Mary Preston said...

Poor Toni!!

Mary P


Lientjie Human said...

Looking forward to reading the rest of the book!

Thank you for the giveaway!

Lientjie in QLD, Australia

Cecelia said...

Hi, Mary! thx for stopping by and commenting!

Cecelia said...

Hi, Lientjie,

So glad you enjoyed the first page of the book! Thx for leaving a comment!

Robin in NC said...

Oh my gosh! Poor Toni!!! Thanks for sharing!

Robin in Raleigh, NC
rw620 AT aol DOT com

Karen Hadley said...

Any book that has chocolate in the title has to be good.

Kim hansen said...

sounds like a good read.

Kim hansen said...

north platte nebtaska.

Beth Gillihan said...

Great first page! Now I want fried chicken and chocolate dessert!

Beth in Montana

Cecelia said...

Hi, Robin!

You are welcome!

Cecelia said...

Hi, Karen! Yes, chocolate goes well with books! People have often told me that reading my stories makes them hungry! Be sure to have a nice slice chocolate cake and a glass of milk - or cup of coffee - while reading my story!

Cecelia said...

Thx, Kim. Glad you stopped by.

Cecelia said...

Beth, I agree with you! Fried chicken and chocolate cake sounds good right now!

Leslie Basil Payne said...

Cecilia and I met a while ago but this is the first time I've read something she wrote. Delightful!

Connie said...

Thank you for sharing this first page.
Connie from KY

apple blossom said...

Who can resist chocolate....even if it is a book title. thanks for the chance to win a copy of this book. live in ND

Cecelia said...

Thanks for commenting Connie, Apple Blossom and Leslie! Apple blossom - yes, so hard to resist good chocolate! Make sure you have some chocolate to nibble on while you read my story! :-)

Lientjie Human said...

I left a comment early but have since gotten a copy of the book, so there is no need to enter me in the drawing.

Thank you,

Brenda Arrington said...

Loved the first page and would love to finish the book. Thanks for the giveaway.
Brenda in VA

Cecelia said...

Hi, Brenda! Thanks for stopping by and commenting! So glad you enjoyed the first page!

Terrill R. said...

Wow, that first page kind of broke my heart. I'm a forgiving person, but at that moment he certainly deserved the vomit.

Terrill - WA

Cecelia said...

Thx for stopping by and commenting, Terril! Have a blessed day! :-)

rubynreba said...

Christian fiction is what I enjoy reading the most! Thanks for the chance to win this.
Beth from IA

Cecelia said...

Hi, Ruby!

Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment! I hope you have a blessed Easter! :-)

Pam Graber said...

Love those first page glimpses! I already feel bad for Toni and would love to read the rest. Thank you for the opportunity to win this!

Pam in OH

Cecelia said...

Hi, Pam!

Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment! I hope you have a blessed Easter!