Oooh I am so excited! I’ve known this lovely lady for a few years now and I have to tell you, she is definitely a bright spot along this crazy writing journey. Whether you know and are familiar with her work or not, you are in for a real treat! Help me make her feel welcome!
Moira: Hi Debora! Why don’t you pull up a chair and get comfy. I am so glad to have you visiting today. I hope you are staying warm. Can I offer you a drink? How about a little something for dessert?
Debora: Coffee and a piece of chocolate cheesecake and I’m set to go!
Moira: You are in luck. I happen to have those on hand. Now that we are settled in, let’s break the ice! If you were stuck in the middle of the apocalypse and you had three people to help you survive, who would they be?
Debora: Wow, talk about throwing me right into the fire. I think I’d definitely need Dwayne Johnson and Robert Downey Jr (as Iron Man, of course!) to protect me. Then, because I am always challenged in the kitchen and I’m assuming during the apocalypse I’d be even more up the creek than normal, I’d have to tap Rachel Ray to make sure me and the “boys” are well fed!
Moira: Very good choices. Since you have Dwayne with you, I think I’m going to come along…you know, to make sure he’s well taken care of so he can be effective at protecting you. Now that we know how you intend to survive, tell us a little more about yourself so my readers who haven’t had the privilege of curling up in bed with you—I mean with one of your books!
Debora: I’m a native New Yorker and have been an avid romance reader since I first discovered Barbara Cartland on the shelves of my Junior High library. Since discovering romance novels a parade of characters and plots have been marching through my head on a regular basis. Now, many years later, with a supportive husband and family I’m finally free to indulge my fantasy and let all those characters out of my head and onto pages of their own. I don’t believe in sticking to one genre and my stories stretch from spicy time travels to lighthearted contemporaries. Always the optimist and firm believer in love conquers all, every story I write celebrates romance. I can usually be found writing at my computer early in the mornings or late at night with a mug of coffee and a bag of Lindt chocolate truffles keeping me sane.
Moira: Truffles and coffee, I knew there was a reason we got along so well. Any deep, dark, and/or dirty secrets you’d like to share? Trust me, my readers can keep a secret.
Debora: I have a weird obsession with lipstick. I have 5 different shades in my purse all the time, no matter how much I try to rationalize that I will only wear one color at a time, it makes no difference. I also put my lipstick on in the car – always. It’s the first thing I do when I get in the car.
Moira: I’m obsessed with lipgloss so I can totally relate. Shall we talk about why we’re really here? BOOKS! I love books. Can’t seem to get enough of them. So I must know…if I were to buy you a book for your birthday, or just because I’m made of awesome sauce and a good friend, what genre would I need to scour?
Debora: I’m easy…a romance! Make me swoon and I’m a happy girl.
Moira: Don’t worry, we’ll keep the easy part under wraps. In this business everyone needs a great support system. So who are your biggest cheerleaders?
Debora: My family and my awesome critique partners are my biggest cheerleaders.
Moira: Not that I’m biased or anything, but the awesome critique partners…I totally have to agree with. I’ve heard some authors say they have a love hate relationship with the process. So, tell us what part do you love? What part do you hate?
Debora: I love new beginnings, fleshing out my characters, and plotting…yes, I love the plotting process! I hate revisions and editing, necessary evils I know, but no less painful for me to finish.
Moira: I love the premise of Muffins and Mistletoe. How did you come up with it?
Debora: My muffin-making matchmaker started as a very small character in a novel I was working on and put on the back burner for a while. I knew I wanted to develop her character, but I didn’t want her to ever be the main character. Muffins & Mistletoe simply grew around the idea of a bakeshop and gingerbread muffins.
Moira: Well who doesn’t love a great bakeshop with a side of romance? Tell me, who is your favorite character in Muffins and Mistletoe and why?
Debora: Bitty Crane is my muffin making matchmaker, she’s a secondary character and maybe it’s odd that she’s my favorite, I mean, should my hero and heroine be my favorite? Bitty is fun to write, she’s opinionated and has her nose in everyone’s business, she’s also what holds my series together, she the constant in every story, so maybe it does make sense that I have a certain fondness for her.
Moira: Make perfect sense to me! Tell us a bit about your latest release and share an excerpt. Pretty please? I have more cheesecake and chocolate! (I’m not above bribing to get what I want)
Debora: Welcome to Starlight Hills! Mountain views, small town charm, and one little bake shop, where romance is always on the menu.
Christmas is the best time of year to be in love in Starlight Hills. Cold nights perfect for snuggling, plenty of mistletoe to be caught kissing under, and an abundance of gingerbread muffins for sharing under the stars. But when Corinne Mackenzie turns down a proposal from the man she loves at the Thanksgiving table, it could be the worst time of year instead. Convinced the only way to fix the biggest mistake of her life is to enlist the help of the town’s resident matchmaker, she’s got a plan to make this the best Christmas ever.
After his proposal is rejected in front of family and friends, Jimmy Crane knows his only chance of surviving the holiday is to avoid the woman who stomped on his heart. The only obstacle to his plan is his matchmaking mother and Corinne’s knack for getting him under the mistletoe.
Corinne stood under the fresh pine roping that hung from the arched entrance to the main hall and took a deep, lung-filling breath. Fragrant real trees stood tall at each side of the arch, glittering with tinsel, white lights and red glass ornaments. She pulled off her gloves with a relieved sigh, letting the scents of Christmas surround her. She was determined not to give in to her personal despair and allow it to squelch a festive holiday mood. After all, she had a plan.
Mrs. Crane’s blue eyes danced with merriment as she held out the signature yellow bag and gave it a shake. “Good morning, Corinne. Fresh from the oven—I know how you love them warm.”
”You do know my weakness, Mrs. Crane.” Corinne tried not to let her mind race ahead and think what a wonderful mother-in-law Bitty Crane would be. Then Corinne thought about her waistline and decided she might be better off without the permanent supply of the woman’s irresistible carbs.
It was hard enough walking by the Itty Bitty Bake Shop every day on her way to work with the tantalizing smells of muffins wafting through the air—having it in the family would be way too tempting.
On the other hand, maybe it was all those carbs that gave Bitty her boundless energy. Always bobbing here and there, dark brown curls framing her cherubic face, her cornflower blue eyes filled with mischief and love. There were no frown lines on her sixty-year-old face, only laugh lines that reached up to her eyes when she winked.
Everyone agreed the annual Preservation Society Holiday Gala would never be the most talked-about event of the season if it weren’t for Bitty Crane and her exuberant dedication.
Corinne looked away from the woman whose eyes reminded her so much of Jimmy’s. While Jimmy had inherited his six-foot-one height from his father, there was no doubt those dancing, all-seeing, soul-searching eyes came from his mother.
She let Bitty take her by the elbow and lead her into the ballroom. “There’s been a slight change in setup plans and so much to do before the gala tomorrow night.”
“That’s why I’m here,” Corinne said with a sigh, trying not to smile as her little white lie slipped easily past her lips. She popped a bite-sized morsel of gingerbread heaven into her mouth while she followed Bitty to the stage. It was difficult to keep her mind off Jimmy when she was so close to his mother, and her mind raced in search of a way to get her to intervene.
Surely his mother had the power to make him listen, didn’t she?
Corinne pulled another piece of muffin from the bag while Bitty pointed to her left. “The rest of the ladies will be here any minute, but why don’t you get started moving these tables off to the side to make room for the—oh, good, Jimmy, you’re here!”
Corinne turned her head so quickly it felt like her neck snapped.
She blinked and he was there, every tall, dark and sexy inch of him, and all she could do was stare. Her inability to speak was thankfully masked by her mouth being stuffed with gingerbread.
Though this was exactly the scenario she’d hoped for, she was grateful her mouth was full of muffin since she couldn’t find the right words anyway. It wasn’t every day one groveled for forgiveness.
Moira: Having read the book and touted it’s awesomeness to friends and family, I’m left with a burning question that I just have to know the answer to—What is next for Debora Dennis?
Debora: 2014 will see two more in the Starlight Hills Holiday Novella series. Cupcakes & Cupid will be out for Valentine’s Day and Wishes & Wedding Cake will be a summer release.
Moria: Fantastic! I can’t wait. Starlight Hills was a lot of fun to spend Christmas in, so I’m really looking forward to spending a few more holidays there. Anything else you care to share before we take this cheesecake and run?
Debora: I love to hear from readers and to connect via social media.
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Thanks for stopping by Deb, it’s been a lot of fun! Any questions you’d like to ask Debora? Feel free!