Guest Author: Liz Everly & Giveaway!!

I’m always happy to have debut authors on the blog, and today I’m particularly pleased to be hosting a fellow Kensington author.  She’s Liz Everly, and she writes about food and romance–very sexy romance.  Her first book just came out, and it’s been getting some great reviews, including this one from Harlie’s Books:

“BUY THIS BOOK!!!  You will thank me later.  One of my top three books of the year, if not in the last two years.  Yes, it’s that good.” 

Let’s ask Liz about her new book, shall we?

Saffron Nights is your debut novel, although it’s not your first foray into the publishing world. How did you make the transition from food writer to romance novelist?

I’ve always been a story teller and even my food writing is narrative in nature. I tell stories through the food. My agent sort of saw the fiction in me as I wrote my cookbooks and other stories and she asked if I ever considered writing fiction. My answer was yes–I had written several novels, never finished them. But I had always needed to make a living, so I stuck with the non-fiction.

But sometimes a story to come out, as SAFFRON NIGHTS did. So I worked on it around my other writing projects.

What’s the book about?

Maeve Flannery, an intrepid food journalist, travels the globe with her handsome photographer researching aphrodisiacs. She and the photographer, Jackson Dodds, get more than they bargained for as they realize their growing attraction to each other, along with the fact that they are in great danger. Someone is chasing them around, but they don’t know why. Both of my main characters are sexually confident and experienced, so the sexual tension in the books come from the fact they are working together and respect each other professionally. Should they embark on a relationship? How will it change their working relationship? The stakes are high because they are very successful together. A lot of photographers and writer never see each other as they partner. They don’t need to. Maeve and Jackson have been partners for years, only communicating by phone and Skype. This assignment is the first that they spend time together.

Your hero and heroine do quite a bit of travelling in the course of the book. Have you travelled to any of those exotic locales?

I wish! A lot of writing this book was pure wish-fulfillment on my part. I’ve always wanted to travel and I read a lot of travel writing. I thought if I were going to write a book, I’d just write a complete fantasy, you know, really have fun with it. For example, most cookbook writers get small advances, have to pay for their own research, and so on. So for Maeve, that writing assignment would be exactly the kind I’d like to have. (Of course, I’d have to bring my HUSBAND along. Grin.)

Was it part of your research?

Yes, as I mentioned I read a lot of travel magazines and blogs. I looked at photos of places and placed my characters there in my mind, then described the places in my book.

What’s up next for Liz Everly?

I’m doing the final revisions on the next book in the series, CRAVINGS, which is set in Ecuador and Saint Lucia. The culinary focus is chocolate and Sanj steps out in this book as the main male character. I’ve started writing the next book in the series and the culinary focus will be honey and ginseng. I’ve not decided on the place, but the lead female character will be Jennifer, who has been in both other books.

Thanks for stopping by, Liz!  Readers, Liz has kindly agreed to donate a copy of her fabulous debut book.  Simply share with us your favorite food indulgence for a chance to win a copy of Saffron Nights. And be sure to stop by Liz’s website to read an excerpt from the book!