Recently, I had the privilege of interviewing Shirley Jump on her Kismet Blog Tour celebrating the re-release for The Bride Wore Chocolate. I received a copy of the book in exchange for the interview, and I loved it!
It was such a cute story that included all my favorite things: Love, misadventures, and chocolate! If you are interested in reading a hilarious and fun romance, you can find The Bride Wore Chocolate as a Kindle download on Amazon for only 99 cents right now (a serious steal). My favorite part of the book, though, had to be the recipes, which sound delicious. I have to love any author who includes recipes in her book, and Shirley is no exception!
The Bride Wore Chocolate somehow managed to hit many of the romance genre cliches while making them seem exciting, funny, and new. All romance lovers and chocolate lovers will love this book (and I am guessing the rest of the Sweet and Savory books, too!).
First, a little about Shirley.
New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Shirley Jump spends her days writing romance and women’s fiction to feed her shoe addiction and avoid cleaning the toilets. She cleverly finds writing time by feeding her kids junk food, allowing them to dress in the clothes they find on the floor and encouraging the dogs to double as vacuum cleaners.
Look for her new and improved re-released Sweet and Savory Romance series, including the USA Today bestselling book, THE BRIDE WORE CHOCOLATE, on Amazon, and her Sweetheart Sisters series for Berkley, starting with THE SWEETHEART BARGAIN and continuing in April 2014 with THE SWEETHEART RULES. Visit her website atwww.shirleyjump.com or read recipes and life adventures at www.eating-my-words.com.
She is also an avid runner. You can find out why she runs in my interview. 🙂
On to the interview! I am in bold, Shirley is regular text.
Do all of your books contain fun foods and recipes like The Bride Wore Chocolate?
Thank you for having me! What great questions you asked!
To the first question, only the Sweet and Savory series (there are 8 books total in that series) contain fun recipes. A few of my books have a recipe or food theme, because well, I love to eat and rarely stop thinking about food 😉
You focus a lot on the relationship between Candace and her grandmother. Do you believe that all women should have a positive female role model to look up to? Who are the most influential women in your life?
I think positive female role models are super important! My grandmother on my mother’s side, my mom and several of my teachers were really influential in my life. I also have a very dear friend, Janet Dean, who has become my supportive shoulder as I’ve gotten older, and since my mom passed away. I think it’s vital to have supportive and strong role models in your life—those are the people that help inspire you to reach for the stars!
What was your favorite scene to write in The Bride Wore Chocolate?
Definitely the scene at the end with the wedding and the stolen chocolates 😉 I don’t want to give anything away, but I had a blast figuring out what would happen and how I could bring everything (and everyone) together at the church.
I love how you mixed food with the story. What inspired you to create a universe where food is at the center?
I sat down one day to figure out what I wanted to write about and made a list of my three favorite things—family, love, and food. Sometimes food comes at the top of that list 😉 and it seemed a natural combination to put together some luscious food, a zany family and a sexy love story.
What is your favorite dessert?
One favorite? I truly LOVE dessert. Crème brulee is one of my favorites only because it’s something I rarely have. But I’m happy with anything chocolate or peanut butter or chocolate and peanut butter… I love cupcakes, too, because they’re like a mini dessert of perfection (and I’m firmly in the buttercream frosting camp for cakes and cupcakes). Okay, now I’m hungry!
On your website, eating-my-words.com, you state that you are a runner. Do you run for fun, or is it simply so you can eat more delicious desserts?
I started running to take off those last twenty pounds from having kids (my son was like 13 at the time, LOL, so the “new baby” excuse had worn off long ago). But now I run because I really love it. I love exploring trails, running with friends, running along the beach, and I love the endorphin rush I get after I finish a challenging run. Being able to eat almost anything I want is a huge bonus to running!
Did you have any misadventures leading up to your own wedding?
No misadventures leading up to the wedding (except for forgetting our toasting glasses) though I did have one at the church. When we went to blow out the unity candle, I didn’t think to lift my veil when I blew at the flame—and succeeded in blowing my veil into the flame. There’s a nice little shot on my video of me doing some panicked huffing and puffing to extinguish the little flame from that mishap 😉
What tips would you give new brides so they can avoid some of the mishaps that Candace faces?
First off, be sure to pick the right man! I think that’s the most important part—if you are marrying a man who respects you, treats you right and makes you laugh, then that is the most important part. The rest of the wedding is just a few hours out of your life, so don’t let the wedding reception become the focus when the marriage should be the focus, if that makes sense.
What is your favorite part of writing? What other authors and books inspire your work?
My favorite part of writing is starting a new book and ending a book. I love the feeling of “anything can happen” when I start a new book, and I love meeting these new strangers who will become living, breathing characters on my pages. Then I love seeing everything work out in the end for them, after an inevitably bumpy middle. I read widely and read a lot, so I’m inspired by dozens of authors, including Jill Shalvis, Kristin Hannah, Jodi Picoult, Harlan Coben, Dennis Lehane, Lee Child, and many, many others! I also love discovering new and amazing authors whose books go on my auto-buy list!
Thanks so much Shirley for taking the time to answer my questions! Are there any questions you are dying to ask Shirley? If you’re nice, she may answer you back.
How cool is this giveaway?
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