Thursday, September 7, 2017

Spooning Daisy NBtM

Her mango chutney is exquisite; her blueberry sauce to die for. But Chef de Cuisine Daisy Moon is a woman without a kitchen after a "bit of trouble" at her last job. Now blacklisted from Seattle to San Francisco, Daisy's sole job offer is from Wild Man Lodge in Otter Bite, Alaska, where the end of the road is just her beginning.

Max cocked his head at her. No siree, Bob. Daisy Moon was not easy. She was like a 1500 piece puzzle, where all the pieces are really tiny, and similar in shape and color, but are nonetheless different, and it would take weeks, maybe even months, just to get the edges put together. 

"Don't look so surprised," she said. "I know I'm not exactly laid back. Okay, maybe that's being kind," she responded to Max’s smile. "But I'm an incredible cook. And a really good speller. Not to mention having a humongous vocabulary. I came in fourth in the national spelling bee championship when I was fourteen."

Without meaning to, Max pictured Daisy at fourteen, in a prim white blouse and a demure plaid skirt with her hair tied back in a ribbon, triumphantly spelling words like...concupiscence.

"Do I know what men want, or what?" Now Daisy herself.

Taking the cue, Max leaned into her and spoke sincerely, but resisted the urge to cup her hand.

"Somewhere there is a man who wants a pretty redhead who's difficult and a great cook with a really humongous vocabulary who can spell...and next time it won't be a cross-dressing felon."

Maggie, thanks so much for stopping by. So, how did you get started writing?
I wrote my first book with crayons—I was six. It was about a boy and his donkey and I threw in a magical tree that disappeared and spoke. It got stellar reviews--my mom loved it. As a Gemini, I tend to have many interests, but writing has been a constant, even as an adult with a career in business. I took several university writing courses, attended RWA conferences, and wrote when I had time. Way back in 2000, I received my first Golden Heart nomination—my second came in 2012—so I’ve been in the writing trenches a long time. Spooning Daisy is my first published romance, but five (unpublished) romances came before it. I suspect most writers have similar beginnings—one day you just start writing.

What was the inspiration for your book?
The original idea (and opening scene) was inspired by my own garage sale, right down to the sheets covering the makeshift plywood tables and the silver-plated chafing dish. As the day progressed, I started thinking “what if…” and the book was born. The primary location of the story, Otter Bite, Alaska is inspired by the very real Kachemak Bay village of Seldovia where I spent summers during my 23 years living in Anchorage. Anyone interested in learning more about this special place can visit

What’s the one genre you haven’t written in yet that you’d like to?
Mystery, leaning toward cozies. Although I typically have a bit of mystery in my stories, it’s not center stage.

Are there any genres you won’t read or write in? Why?
No horror! Or anything with blood and guts or serial killers, which could include a variety of genre’s, and absolutely no women or animals “in peril.” Again, this could encompass a variety of genres including romantic suspense. I’m tired of the stereotype of women as victims. I like to read at night before I sleep so I won’t write anything that would give me nightmares if I were reading it. Also, I think there’s enough sadness in the world, so I like my stories to be upbeat and funny.   

What are you up to right now? Do you have any releases planned, or are you still writing?
Just finished “Embracing Felicity.” Yay!  This is book 2 in the Otter Bite series. The setting is the same, and we see some of the same supporting characters, but there is a new romance. Environmentalist and shop owner, Felicity Arhnaq is part native (Alutiiq) and her romantic interest is oilman and Scottish transplant, Ian MacIntyre, whom we briefly met in “Spooning Daisy” along with his 10-year-old daughter, Emily. Again, a romantic comedy, right from the start when Ian is attacked by Felicity’s ravens, Orville and Wilbur, and then her eagle, Franklin, steals his shoe. Throw in the legend of Sedna, a 200-year-old mermaid, and there’s lots of fun with mystery and environmental undertones. And for those familiar with Spooning Daisy, we see what’s happening with Max and Daisy since their Happily Ever After.

Anyone wanting to read the first chapter can visit my website. Or, if you sign up for my Once in a Blue Moon newsletter, I’ll be sending out the first three chapters to subscribers.

All right, now for some random, fun questions. Favorite color?

Favorite movie?
“Local Hero,” an oldie but a goodie, set in Scotland.

Book that inspired you to become an author?
When I was a kid, probably, “All Creatures Great and Small” by James Herriot. As an adult, probably “The Mists of Avalon” by Marion Zimmer Bradley, which coincidentally, I’m reading again after 30 years.

You have one superpower. What is it?
Mind reading. I’m trusting and even gullible, and I’ve been taken advantage of. But I don’t want to know what everyone’s thinking, all the time, so I want to be able to focus it and turn it on and off.

You can have dinner with any 3 people, dead, alive, fictitious, etc. Who are they?
Great question, and one that I haven’t been asked until now. Definitely Winston Churchill. He’s a brilliant orator and inspired writer, and single-handedly united Great Britain during World War II. Also, Jesus. How awesome would that be? (I guess we’ll have “fishes and loaves” for dinner.) And last, but not least, my mom who died 17 years ago. I would so love to chat with her again—I owe her a few apologies. J

Last question: Which of your characters are you most like and how/why?
In Spooning Daisy, probably supporting character Rita, who is second-in-command at Wild Man Lodge. She’s no nonsense, quick witted, and funny (she delivers some great one-liners), and she loves food. She’s compassionate but doesn’t like wallowers, and she’s self-sufficient. I’m not exactly like Rita, or in equal measure, but I’m somewhere in there.

That’s all from me, thanks so much for taking the time to stop by!
Thank you for presenting Spooning Daisy and for this awesome interview.

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Author Bio and Links:
Golden Heart nominee Maggie McConnell spent her childhood overseas as the daughter of US diplomats. Attending college in Illinois, she earned a BA in Art and an MBA while working at the local humane shelter. At 26, she packed her dog and cat into a Ford truck and drove the Alcan Highway to Alaska, where she spent 23 years exploring The Last Frontier in a single-engine Cessna. A vegan and animal rights advocate, Maggie provides a sanctuary on her Arizona ranch for all creatures great and small, but her immediate family includes dog Molly, cat Sara, horses Quinn and Teena, and an ever-growing dynasty of chipmunks. Every year, like the Gray Whale, Maggie returns to Alaska.

Website     |     Facebook Author Page

Buy Links:
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