Hi, all! I’m so happy to spread the news that Kyra Jacobs’s third and last book in the Checkerberry Inn contemporary romance series will be out on July 17th, and it’s available for pre-order now. I love Kyra’s writing–both her romances and her dragon series–so I asked her to do a question and answer for us and to tell us a little about her new book. Here goes:
Questions for Karen:
- This is the third and final book in your Checkerberry Inn series. How did you enjoy writing a series? Did it have any challenges?
I love series writing, and being able to draw on the supporting cast from prior books to help drive new stories. Sometimes, though, it’s hard to plan ahead. I’ve got to be careful not to make a future hero/heroine act contrary to what you want them behaving like in their upcoming books.
- You tend to write about feisty heroines. Freudian, maybe? A little bit of you sneaking into your fiction?
Hah! I’m pleading the fifth, here. Pleading. The. Fifth.
- Besides writing romances, you skip off to write PNR novels, too. How did that happen?
Honestly, I don’t know. The dragons struck me out of the blue (re-releases coming 7/31!) , as did my latest fantasy/PNR novel (work in progress). But I’ve found that keeping a foot in each genre tends to help balance me out, crazy as that may sound. With my contemporary stories, I have certain plot rules for romance to follow, as well as making the story/setting/characters believable. With fantasy, I get to break all the “normal” rules while I create new ones that shape my alternate worlds.
- Your third book features a female chef. Do you love to cook? Are you a secret cookbook hoarder?
Ha! No, not a cookbook hoarder. Though, I’m certainly a cookbook/recipe user. If I don’t have directions to follow, I’m lost. Maddie, the chef in my story—she’s a wiz in the kitchen. Me? Not so much. I do love to bake (again, all about following the recipe) and have been trying my hand at grilling this summer. So far, so good!
- What about the hero, Cole? He’s a musician, isn’t he? Can you tell us a little about him? You’re a little addicted to music, aren’t you? Do you listen to it while you write?
Ah, Cole. He’s such a sweetheart but so misunderstood. I was glad to bring him a much-needed HEA. And yes, I do love music. If I’m in the car, I’m singing along. Working in the yard or on a walk, headphones are likely in (but I spare the neighbors from hearing me sing). During writing time, though, the music stays off. I need quiet for the stories in my head to make it onto my keyboard.
- Okay, tell us a little about you. If you were gifted a perfect day, what would it be?
Oh, wow. There are so many “perfect day” scenarios to choose from! I’m thinking one that has a little of all my favorite things in there—time with my boys, time in my flower gardens, time writing, maybe even a bit of yoga thrown in the mix. And something tells me, music will be included as well. 😉
Thanks for visiting my blog! Can you share your new book’s cover, a blurb, and excerpt with us?
Thank you so much for having me here today, Judy!
Maddie Frye, the Checkerberry Inn’s snarky, introverted chef, just wants to be left alone. But with the inn’s upcoming gala, Maddie’s boss has matchmaking on the brain. So when the gorgeous new guy in town helps her out for a night, she comes up with the perfect solution to her problem…
Cole Granville is looking for a fresh start. When a part-time job opens in the Checkerberry’s kitchen, he takes it without a second thought. The only catch? He’s got to help his sexy new coworker snag a date for an upcoming dance. But as he coaches Maddie on attracting her crush, Cole realizes he’s the one falling for the curvy brunette.
Cole froze, his heart racing. The last time he’d heard those words, they were followed by “Stop! Police!” Resisting the urge to run, he turned toward the voice and stared. The Checkerberry’s spitfire of a chef was running toward them, apron flapping in the wind.
“Uh-oh,” said Brent. “What’d you do to make Maddie leave the kitchen at this hour?”
“No idea, I haven’t seen her since church on Sunday. Maybe she’s yelling at you?”
Brent chuckled. “Looks like we’re about to find out.”
She came to a stop a few feet back, her peaches and cream complexion flushed from exertion. “Hey, hi. Cole, right?”
The men exchanged a glance. Brent offered him a victorious smirk.
“Yes, ma’am. What can I do you for?”
“Ma’am? Good grief, I’m not ninety. Even if I do feel that way sometimes. It’s Maddie. Just Maddie.”
She put a hand to her chest. Cole’s gaze followed the movement but he did his best not to let it linger there. He’d admired her curves from a distance many times, but never this up close. Today, her top was unbuttoned farther than it usually was on Sundays…
She cleared her throat and brought the hand down to plant on her hip. “You still looking for work?”
Cole stared at her, momentarily dumbstruck.
“Work.” She waved a hand in front of his face. “Are you still looking for work?”
He blinked, trying to clear the fog of surprise from his mind. “Yes, ma’am—I mean, Maddie. Did you need help moving something? Or lifting?”
“No. More like washing dishes. You got two working hands and arms?”
“Then you’ll do. Please tell me this was your last run of the day.”
“It is.” More like his only run of the day. Probably wasn’t even necessary, but Old Tom hated to see him sit around bored on the days he filled in at Granville’s Hardware. Not that he’d ever complain—those days were what graciously supplied the roof over his head until Cole got on his feet financially.
“Perfect. You finish with Brent, I’ll call your grandfather.” She hurried back toward the inn, leaving the men to themselves once more.
“Come on,” said Brent with a grin. “I’ll help you unload so you can get to our queen bee.”
Cole smirked. “Thanks.”
“I hope you didn’t have any plans tonight. Big gathering up there, lots of old biddies. They stay longer than you’d expect.”
“Nah, no plans.” Cole looked back toward the inn, seeing it for the first time as a possible ticket to success. Who knew? If washing dishes paid a decent wage, maybe he’d find a way to stay longer than expected. And a cash advance.
In fact, his dream studio was counting on it…