Cooking my characters

This month’s topic is food. I actually asked on our author loop earlier this month if someone else wanted my spot because having me write about food was a disaster waiting to happen. I’m in awe of Christi Barth and Jeffe Kennedy who can make food seem sexy in their stories. Because to me, food is just…sustenance. Maybe that’s because for the life of me I can’t cook. Oh, I can make a great batch of chocolate macaroons from scratch. Then there’s my peach crumble—I don’t even use a recipe for it, I just know how to make it by “feel” and my family seems to love it.  I may even stretch things and claim I can make corn bread – if I use a package from the States. (It’s really hard to find the proper type of corn meal up here in Canada – so when I went down to Cincinnati a couple months ago and found multiple cornbread mixes in Walmart’s baking aisle I snatched one up.  Okay, I’m not sure if that means I can make cornbread or if that’s cheating. But I totally tell my family I made it myself.)

Anything else–well, you take your chances so if you want to have a meal with me, it’s safest for you to make a reservation at a restaurant. Think I’m kidding? The other day I set off the smoke alarm simply by boiling water. That’s right, that’s all I was doing. I put a saucepan on to boil some water so I could make hard boiled eggs. There was nothing under the pan, the plate was clean, as was the saucepan which was filled with water. And yet I somehow managed to set off the smoke alarm. That takes a special talent, I tell you.

What I’m getting at is they say “write what you know” and I don’t know cooking. Which means other than in the bedroom, my characters don’t cook. Well, except for one character in Feeding the Flames – Tabatha is a chef in a diner. And she makes a mean chili. And pretty great corn bread. That doesn’t come from a package.

I named Tabatha after my street team leader who is also my chief cheerleader for when I get those “I can’t write, what am I doing even trying?” moments. Which lately have been daily. Hourly. Hell, all the time. Which means I keep the real-life Tabatha busy. So when I was asked to be part of a firefighter bundle last year, I pulled out a story that I’d started writing back in 2012 where I’d named the main character Tabatha in honor of the real life Tabatha and reworked it. In the new version I made her a chef–because that’s what real-life Tabatha wanted. Of course, then I promptly hit real-life Tabatha up for recipes that fictional Tabatha would serve in Twisted Tabby’s, her diner. (In the back of Feeding the Flames, the real life Tabatha has provided both a chili and a cornbread recipe And trust me, Tabatha can cook!)

But I like to think I “cooked” Feeding the Flames in the only way I knew how. I took a dash of unrequited love, added a heaping helping of smokin’ hot firefighter, a cup of a saucy heroine who has her eye on the aforementioned firefighter, and wrapped the whole thing in some scorching hot sex scenes and brought the couple to a boil.

I like to think my fictional Tabatha and Zac, her firefighter boyfriend, set off a few smoke alarms themselves. 😀

Feeding the Flames

Sometimes your soulmate has been right in front of you their whole life. It shouldn’t take almost losing them to find them.

Feeding the Flames by Leah BraemelVolunteer firefighter Zac Buchanan has been carrying a torch for Tabatha Morgan since…well, forever. A promise he made years ago backfired, sending Tabatha into the arms of another man, and him into a decade of heartache. Now Tabatha’s back in town, newly divorced, and the sparks between them are setting them both aflame.

Tabatha would have bet her secret five-alarm chili recipe that her school girl crush on Zac had died out long ago. Except those slumbering embers reignited the moment Zac walked into her diner. Now each time she sees him—hears him, thinks about him—she can’t imagine her life without him again.

But if their new-found love and sizzlin’ hot action in the bedroom—and living room, kitchen and bathroom—is to survive, Tabatha must also accept the smoke, flames and danger of Zac’s job. Or their happy-ever-after will forever be extinguished.

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Cooking my characters — 3 Comments

  1. Leah, I couldn’t help but to laugh at the fire alarm incident. But hey, I’d take those chocolate macaroons and peach crumble any day. I don’t event need anything else. :-)

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