Posted by Calisa Rhose
Welcome my first guest of the new year! Gemma Brocato is a sister Lyrical-turned-Kensington author here to share her debut book. I can’t wait to read it. 🙂
Take it away, Gemma!
Here’s a little fact about myself… I love to travel. I live to discover new and exciting places. Frequently, my discovery of new places occurs because I want to explorie old places. Like the castles and keeps I dragged my husband to in England. I was on a quest to spend weekends visiting all the Tudor castles while we lived there. Mr. Gemma finally had to put his foot down and insist he wasn’t going to another heap of smelly stones. One year, I dragged my husband and children to Vermont, in search of Larry, Darrell and Darrell. We never found them, but I developed a love of the Northeast and the Eastern Seaboard while I was there.
The setting for Cooking Up Love came from a trip I took to Boston with my high school choir. That city was fascinating to my impressionable young self. The historical sites and beautiful architecture, the exceptional restaurants, the old churches, even the feel of community I sensed there.
When I started to write my story, I wanted a place that reflected Boston’s history, but still embodied the small town camaraderie I’d known growing up in the Midwest. So I created Granite Pointe, a tourist hamlet my heroine, Jemima George, decides to move to after inheriting a café located there. Building the world of the town, and its citizens included drawing a mental map of the harbor, the main street, and throwing in a high school. I further developed the town while writing Hearts In Harmony, book 2 in the series, to include a farmer’s market and a Christmas Tree Farm. Book 3, which I’m working on now, has a lovely new park and a seaside museum.
I think the best part of Granite Pointe is its residents. The people Jem George meets while settling into her new surrounding made the town a home she comes to love. I tell my children home is wherever your family is and I made the citizens of Granite Pointe Jem’s family. My imagination continues to build a solid, warm community that welcomes guests and new residents. I think I could easily move to Granite Pointe.
Book Title: Cooking Up Love
Author: Gemma Brocato
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Publisher: Lyrical Press
Mix a chef and her contractor, stir in a mystery, and cook up a romance.
Jemima George leads a charmed life as a personal chef and assistant to reality television’s latest darling. But that changes in a New York minute when her Aunt Caro dies under odd circumstances, bequeathing her a small restaurant. Jem plans to sell the café and continue her life in NYC, until a dramatic phone call from her cheating boyfriend convinces her to experiment with the ingredients for happiness and accept her Aunt’s legacy. Throwing herself into remodeling the restaurant with the help of the town’s delicious contractor, Jem revamps the menu and renews her faith in herself.
Jack Kerrigan considered Caro a surrogate mother and hates the idea that the café could be sold. He doesn’t need the remodeling project, but if it means Caro’s beautiful, fascinating niece will stay to run the restaurant, he’s all in. He wouldn’t mind being savory to Jem’s sweet.
Jack’s brassy ex-wife is cooking up a scheme of her own, where Jack tosses Jem like a salad and comes back to her. Fold in a creepy attorney hiding secrets of environmental mayhem, add Jem’s claustrophobia, half-pint niece and nephew twins, one mysterious lockbox, and bring to a boil–a recipe for romance.
His sexy baritone voice breezed up her spine and her breath stuttered as his warm hand wrapped around hers.
Oh, no. She was in trouble. Standing this close to him, he even smelled like a hot guy, fresh, outdoorsy, a hint of distinctive male. He had great hands. Narrow wrists, long, elegant fingers, calloused enough, making her imagine how they’d rasp as they trailed along her flesh. She had always been a sucker for a long-fingered man.
Time to put the brakes on those ideas. His gaze roved over her body, not hiding the fact that he was checking her out. Heat bloomed in her cheeks and she mentally shook her head to clear the fireworks going off in her imagination when she caught sight of deep dimples bracketing either side of his full, smiling lips and even white teeth. Oh good
Lord, why’d he have to have dimples?
When his gaze made the journey back to hers, she looked pointedly at her hand, still clasped in his. His look was almost apologetic as he released his grip.
About Gemma Brocato
Gemma’s favorite desk accessories for many years were a circular wooden token, better known as a ’round tuit,’ and a fortune from a fortune cookie that said she was a lover of words; some day she’d write a book. All it took was a transfer to the United Kingdom, the lovely English springtime, and a huge dose of homesickness to write her first novel. Once it was completed and sent off with a kiss even the rejections, addressed to ‘Dear Author’, were gratifying.
After returning to America, she spent a number of years as a copywriter, dedicating her skills to making insurance and the agents who sell them sound sexy. Eventually, her full-time job as a writer interfered with her desire to be a writer full-time and she left the world of financial products behind to pursue an avocation as a romance author.
Her gamble paid off when she was a 2012 Finalist in the prestigious Golden Pen contest for Romantic Suspense and she received contracts for her first and second book.
Gemma loves to connect with readers. This is where you can find her:
Due to the recent acquisition of Lyrical Press by Kensington books, my debut novel, Cooking Up Love is temporarily off the market. But not to worry – it will be back soon. In the meantime, I have some print copies of the book I’d love to give away (A US winner only, please). Leave a comment below to enter a drawing for a signed copy.
Before she goes, Gemma has a question.
If you could call any place in the world home, where would it be?
It’s been wonderful having you and your awesome book on the Ranch, Gemma. Thank you for visiting!