Monday, May 28

Shirley Jump and a chocolate fix...

Joining the Wranglers today is a good and generous friend and one of the most prolific writers I know (if you think that sounds envious...well, you're right). Help us celebrate the re-release of THE BRIDE WORE CHOCOLATE and weigh in on how what you like in books.



A lot of people ask me where I come up with the ideas for my books. A good question, if only I had the answer more often!  Most of the time, I have no idea where the idea for the book came from. It’s just one of those things that just kind of…happens. 

Except with THE BRIDE WORE CHOCOLATE. I had had this dusty unsold manuscript about a woman who wakes up in the wrong man’s bed two weeks before her wedding. 99% of the book was too terrible to fix, but I had that opening scene that I’d always liked, and wanted to use it. But the problem was framing an entirely new plot around that one scene. At the same time, I really wanted to hone in on what I wanted to write (outside of category romance). A friend of mine suggested I make a list of what’s important to me, and I did:


1.      Food
2.      Shoes
3.      Family 

Okay, whoops. The order’s a bit off ;-) but that’s the list I made, and I thought if I could find a way to combine those things into one book…heck, I’d have a book that made me happy every time I worked on it. I toyed with that number one for some time, then realized, being an amateur cook, that I really wanted a book with food in it. And I wanted that book to not just be entertaining, but also useful. So…why not put recipes into the book?

These weren’t just ordinary recipes (although they were all tested by me…I know, the sacrifices one makes for a book ;-). They were PART of the story. The 30-odd recipes in THE BRIDE WORE CHOCOLATE are written by different characters and foreshadow the events to come in the next scene. So they’re a bit of cooking, a bit of wisdom, and a bit of plot. 

This month, THE BRIDE WORE CHOCOLATE is being re-released as an ebook, and was also picked as part of the Nook First program, which gives BarnesandNoble.com an exclusive for 30 days (then it’ll be on Kindle, etc.). I’m thrilled to see this book reaching readers again, and even more thrilled with the new cover design.  

Tell me—do you like books that combine your favorite things in life (whether it be chocolate or gardening or whatever) with the story? I always feel like it’s bonus ;-) and hope readers feel the same way about THE BRIDE WORE CHOCOLATE! :-) 

Shirley


My website: www.shirleyjump.com

25 comments:

  1. Thanks for visiting today, Shirley. I hope the Nook First program, (and TBWC) is a great success.

    I like seeing favorite things--including recipes--in books. I've been incorporating quilting into some writing and enjoying it--we'll see how it works out.

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  2. Hi Shirley,
    What a clever idea including recipes. I always enjoy your books. Keep writing for readers like me.

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  3. Thanks for having me here, Liz! I love the Word Wranglers blog :-) And thank you, Morgan! They were really fun books to write (though I had to go on a diet after each one ;-)

    Shirley

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  4. Hi, Shirley!
    Welcome back to WW! Hope you have great success with the Nook First program. I'm sure you will!

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    1. PS. Blogger mangles my name. It's D'Ann from your group.

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    2. Sorry about the name mangle, D'Ann! Those darn apostrophes :-) thanks for coming by!

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  5. Hi, Shrley & Liz!
    I like reading about what I'm interested in, such as people in business and entrepreneurs. No matter the details, how the relationships play out are my favorite part. You do that so well, Shirley! And reading about chocolate always HSs my attention. Lol

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  6. As an avid gardner and a cook, sometimes my interest in those topics takes me out of the character's story, because I am either picking apart technics of gardening or rushing to try the recipes. That's not to say the story isn't good, but sometimes these other things are distracting.

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    1. True, they can be. My recipes aren't in the chapters, they're in the breaks between chapters, for precisely that reason--so they're easy to skip if the reader doesn't want to read them. You won't miss anything (except maybe some really good cookie recipes ;-).

      Shirley

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  7. I think it's interesting that the recipies foreshadow what's coming up. That's a great idea!

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    1. Thanks, Shawn! I had five books in the series total (which is like 150 total recipes!) but it was great fun to do!

      Shirley

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  8. I like when recipes are included in books. I love your books and look forward to reading The Bride Wore Chocolate. Because I have a kindle I have to wait.

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    1. Bummer on the weight, Janna! But then you'll be able to get all three :-) so that works out well for you!

      Shirley

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  9. I loved this book when it first came out, Shirley - so glad to see it come out in e-format, too!

    The recipes were so fun to follow - I like finding books with some of my favorite things...

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    1. Thanks, Kristina! Now if I could just find a book that gives me free high heels when I read it... ;-)

      Shirley

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  10. Sorry for not being around here much yesterday, folks! I had hurt my hip in a bike accident a few days ago and ended up spending the day with the pain pills ;-) Dh took me to the lake, just to get me out of the house, but I was a slug there too, LOL. Feeling much better today!

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    1. I'll bet that bruise is a work of art, though, isn't it? Glad you're feeling better.

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    2. LOL, Liz, it sure is! I told DH if he sees the face of Jesus or the Virgin Mary in it, we could make a mint ;-)

      Shirley

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  11. I love chocolate, and cookies! Often, though, it's the setting sells the book. I love settings that are familiar. When a story takes place on an island or in a coastal town, I know the location will enhance the emotional content. Recent history also attracts me--like a novel I read that was set in New Orleans shortly after Hurricane Katrina. I like unfamiliar times and places, too, for the education and vicarious travel benefits. To sum up--oh, yeah, I ilke pretty much everything. : )

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    1. I agree, Chris! My new series that comes out next August features a coastal setting. The BRIDE, etc books are set in Boston (I grew up in that area) and I often pick small towns for my settings. I did write one in NO after the hurricane and it was really hard to do, IMO, because I wanted to keep the story light but also be respectful of all that had happened there.

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  12. I hope your feeling better, Shirley. This is one of your books I haven't read yet, and I can't wait to read it. I love learning new things in books, yet I don't want an entire lesson if you know what I mean. Get better soon...

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  13. Thanks for coming by Shirley--even medicated, it's great to have you around. Even though I'm not much of a cook, I always enjoy reading recipes--and I'll definitely have to try one of the cookie recipes, because I can bake. It's just the getting everything timed out for a dinner that stresses me out and the fact that I get distracted and things have a tendency to, you know, burn.

    Take care!

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  14. Thanks, Margie! I agree--that can be stressful! I'm always worse under pressure than with just my family. But I'm a terrible baker ;-) because I'm impatient and want it now... plus, I'm not so good at the exact measurement thing :-)

    Shirley

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