My inspirational author of the month is Mellanie Szereto who does the most terrific writing tips on her blog. I am such a fan and welcome her to my blog. Over to you:
When her fingers aren't attached to her keyboard, Mellanie Szereto enjoys hiking, Pilates, cooking, gardening, and researching for her stories. Many times, the research partners with her other hobbies, taking her from the Hocking Hills region in Ohio to the Colorado Rockies or the Adirondacks of New York. Sometimes, the trip is no farther than her garden for ingredients and her kitchen to test recipes for her latest steamy tale. Mellanie makes her home in rural Indiana with her husband of twenty-seven years, their two children, and two cats. She is a member of Romance Writers of America, Indiana Romance Writers of America, Hearts Through History Romance Writers, and PASIC.
Tell us about your latest book.
I’m currently in the midst of a new foodie contemporary series, Love on the Menu, with lots of heat in the kitchen...in the bedroom...and a few other locations.
Book one, Love Served Hot, stars a curvy nutritionist and the hunky Irish chef she hires to work at her uncle’s retirement village. Between foodgasms from Flynn’s creations and condoms from a retired sex therapist who lives at the complex, Lilith isn’t sure she can resist cooking up spicy nights with her chef. Will she get burned if she turns up the temperature when the lights go down? Or will she find love?
(Check below for an extract!)
If you like your love stories even hotter, just wait for the two erotic novels from Love on the Menu...With Extra Spice! Enjoy cupcakes and coffee with Calais and Kane in Iced Latté, and prepare for decadent desserts with Meg and Aidan in Just Desserts...
Red Hot Pepper and Hot Tamale Nights continue the sizzling contemporary series, along with four more erotic novels—featuring more delicious ways to serve up love and sex!
Look for the first of my Love on the Menu series in November. I’ll be posting release dates on my website soon!
(Sounds delicious – and fabulous!)
In the meantime, check out my Sextet books and Bewitching Desires series from Siren Publishing!
Do you have anything in common with your characters?
I’ve always loved spending time in the kitchen. At least one character in each book of the new series is a chef, baker, etc.—something to do with cooking. They experiment with recipes and use their ideas to create new dishes, which I wish I had more time to do!
Is there any trivia about your latest/forthcoming story that you can share with us?
The setting for Love Served Hot is Kent, Ohio, about a thirty-minute drive from where I grew up and where my daughter is attending graduate school. I love the neat little downtown shops and the small-town atmosphere. It’s a great place for a retirement village full of feisty senior citizens!
What’s the strangest (bravest, funniest etc) thing you’ve ever done?
The bravest thing I’ve ever done is let someone else read my work. I was a “closet writer” for a several years before I discovered RWA and my local chapter of romance writers. One of my new friends offered to critique part of my manuscript, and taking that first step toward getting published was incredibly hard. After all, who wants to risk hearing their labor of love sucks?
(Oh, I can SOOO relate to that!)
I survived. I also learned a great deal about writing craft—and still am. Now I pay it forward by helping other writers hone their writing skills and educate themselves about the publishing world on my blog (big smile!) and in my local RWA chapter.
When did you write your first book (and is it published)?
I wrote my first romance about six years ago—the same manuscript I mentioned above. It isn’t published yet, but I’ll be making time to work on rewrites after I complete the Love on the Menu series!
Who are some of your favorite authors?
Considering the many thousands of books I’ve read, I’m not sure I could list them all. I got hooked on romance by reading Lori Foster (love those Winstons), Vicki Lewis Thompson (yep, I love nerds too), and Lynsay Sands (Argeneau vamps—yum) to name a few! I don’t have near enough time to make a dent in my to-be-read pile, but I’ll keep adding to it. :)
What’s your guiltiest pleasure?
I love brownies and ice cream, but I do my best to save that treat for special occasions—and I try very hard not to feel guilty about eating it!
What are you currently working on, or what’s on the horizon?
I’m currently working on the remaining books in my foodie series, and I’ll be returning to a contemporary series I started with that first critiqued book when I get the chance. I love the stories and the friendships of the female characters in my fictional small town. Each one has a hero who’s perfect for her, even though their heroes have a few flaws. I’m hoping to have at least three of the ten books in that series ready to go by the end of next year. Yes, I’m keeping busy!
What do you do when you’re not writing?
What do I do when I’m not writing??? I think about writing. :) I also enjoy reading, hiking, and shoe shopping. Okay, not just shoes. I love to hang out with my writer friends too!
If you had one item to take into the bedroom with you what would it be?
Remember that guiltiest pleasure??? <<big grin>>
How fans can find you on the internet?
My Website: www.mellanieszereto.com
My Website: www.mellanieszereto.com
My Blog: www.mellanieszereto.blogspot.com
My Siren Author page: www.bookstrand.com/mellanie-szereto
Extract from Love Served Hot:
A glance toward the dark dining room brought him short as he strolled past. Light filtered onto the carpet from beneath the serving door to the kitchen, and he backtracked down the hallway to the other entrance. Had he forgotten to flip off the switch when he left earlier? It was a possibility, considering how distracted he’d been.
As he lifted his hand to push the door open, a noise came from the other side.
Was that a moan? Geesh. Please don’t tell me old people are having sex in my kitchen. And why do I smell tomatoes and basil?
Hesitant about whether or not to enter, he listened for more sounds.
“More. I want more.”
Was that Lilith’s voice? Did she have a guy in there with her?
Not if I can help it!
Shoving open the door, he stepped into the room, shading his eyes against the brightness. A squeak brought his attention straight to the woman in question, her face half hidden behind a tipped-up carryout box. Only her wide green eyes were fully visible. She lowered the container, revealing flushed cheeks and a dab of red sauce on her chin.
He strode into the kitchen, grabbing a towel on his way to the sexiest female he’d ever met. Wiping away the drop of sauce, he bit the inside of his lip to hold in a grin. She liked his food. No, she loved his food, if her moaning and statement that she wanted more meant anything. The week of not showing up for meals in the restaurant had nothing to do with his cooking.
Was she avoiding him? Maybe because she wanted him as much as he wanted her?
Hope built in his chest—and lower.
More color crept up her elegant neck. “I was hungry. I didn’t have time to eat supper. You said I could help myself whenever...”
Giving in to a smile, he took the licked-clean box from her to set it on the counter. “I did, and you can. Did you enjoy it?”
She nodded slowly, the tip of her pink tongue snaking out to lick the corner of her mouth. “It was...delicious.”
The temptation proved too much, and he stepped closer to lean in for his own taste. His resistance had disintegrated. Sounds like she’d made deserved to be induced by something a hell of lot more interesting than campanelle and ports.
Soft, full lips met his, stealing his sanity and sending his heart racing. She threaded her fingers in his hair, tugging him against her full breasts as her tongue slipped between his teeth. Wrapping his arms around her, he held her in place, letting the mixture of spices from the entree and the sweet flavor of Lilith feed his hunger.
He rubbed his tongue over hers, relieved to finally be able to kiss her. Barely keeping a tight rein on his reaction, he rocked his hips forward, rubbing his erection against her hip. Damn, but he wanted to be inside her.
I need to be inside her.
Her hand closed over his shorts-clad butt, guiding him away from her hips and to her center. She arched against him, and a growl escaped him.
Thank you, so much, for being on my blog today. Mellanie. Next month is the turn of K D Grace.