The Cupcake Diaries
Sweet On You, Recipe for Love, Taste of Romance
By: Darlene Panzera
The Cupcake Diaries Book One: SWEET ON YOU
(Avon Impulse; on-sale May 7th, 2013; e-book ISBN: 9780062242662)
Fans of Debbie Macomber will love THE CUPCAKE DIARIES: Sweet on You, the first in the new and exciting three-book romantic comedy, by Darlene Panzera. Set in the small seaport town of Astoria, Oregon, Sweet on You begins the delicious and charming mini-series with Andi Burke’s adventure through love and cupcakes.
Sisters Andi and Kim, along with best friend Rachel, haven’t had the best luck in recent months: unemployment, divorce, and heartbreak. After so many disappointments, what can the trio do to change things around? Open up a much needed gourmet cupcake shop of course!
Andi has always had a dream—a kitchen big enough to bake and dance in, while still being able to support her dear daughter Mia, and hopefully find true love (one day). Could opening up a cupcake shop make it all a reality?
Together, the best friends are determined to open up Creative Cupcakes. But, with no business experience or money to finance the project it seems their dream won’t come true. Until, Jake Hartman, the hunky Astoria Sun reporter, offers to partner up with them.
Trying to hold it together as a single mom hasn’t been easy, and the thought of dating hasn’t crossed Andi’s mind since her divorce. But, the way Jake keeps looking at her might change her mind. After all, what could go wrong?
Plenty! There's a shady tattoo parlor behind their shop and a crowd of crazy Zumba dancers out front—ready to ruin them. The trio is forced to think quick to counter the attacks from Zumba fanatic Pat, while still finding a way to bring in business. It seems the only thing that’s going right is Andi's blooming romance with Jake. As if things weren’t hard enough, Jake’s media crew captures a story that could shut them both down forever.
(Avon Impulse; on-sale May 14th, 2013; e-book ISBN: 9780062242686)
For fans of Debbie Macomber comes Recipe for Love, the second installment in the Cupcake Diaries series Relationships can be tricky, but will Mike the magician convince Rachel to break her two-date rule? Rachel Donovan believes first dates are fabulous, second dates are fun, but third dates? She never sees a guy three times in a row for fear he'll break her heart, but she's tempted to make an exception when her coworkers, Andi and Kim, hire Mike Palmer to drive their Cupcake Mobile. Mike meets Rachel when he's wearing his black-masked magician costume at a Creative Cupcakes birthday party and then tries to saw her in half. He draws closer while helping Rachel devise promotion plans to outsmart the arrogant new French pastry chef threatening to put the shop out of business. When a rat runs through the middle of her glitzy promo party and the video is uploaded to YouTube, Rachel fears she won't be able to save the shop, help her mother pay for her grandfather's medical treatment, or win back the heart of the one guy she's come to love . . . or will she?
(Avon Impulse; on-sale May 21st, 2013; e-book ISBN: 9780062242839)
For fans of Debbie Macomber comes Taste of Romance, the third installment in the Cupcake Diaries series. Kimberly Burke has avoided all types of risk since her mother's deadly plane crash—including risky relationships. Seems like everyone is always leaving her behind: her ex-boyfriend, her mother, and now her sister Andi and best friend Rachel—who have each found the man of her dreams. Then she meets Nathaniel when she mistakes his backyard for the new community park. He loves her passion, and when he learns of her wistful desire to travel, he takes her up in a hot air balloon, hoping to overcome her fear of flying so that she can accompany him abroad. But before he leaves, they must catch the Cupcake Bandit and replace the money stolen from Creative Cupcakes before the shop is shut down. Will discovering the thief's identity persuade Kim to take a risk on love ... or will she stay behind and let Nathaniel fly off without her?
About the Author
Darlene Panzera is the winner of the “Make Your Dreams Come True” contest sponsored by Avon Books. The win led her novella, The Bet, to be published with Debbie Macomber’s Family Affair. The award-winning novella (chosen in a blind-read by Debbie Macomber) was then published as a full length novel retitled, Bet You’ll Marry Me. Born and raised in New Jersey, Darlene is now a resident of the Pacific Northwest where she lives with her husband and three children. When not writing she enjoys spending time with her family, two horses, and loves: camping, hiking, photography, and lazy days at the lake.
Thanks for having me here today!
1) Do you plan all your characters out before you start a story or do they develop as you write? I start with a vague stereotyped idea in my head. Then as I write the details come out as a result of the scene and they become more developed three-dimensional people.
2) One of your favorite quotes.
"The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams." - Eleanor Roosevelt
I would like to encourage everyone to pursue their dreams and never give up!
3) Who are your dream dinner party guests?
In my house it would have to be the full cast of The Lord of the Rings in full costume and Captain Jack Sparrow from Pirates of the Caribbean.
4) How did you get the idea for this particular novel?
The idea actually came from my editor at Avon Books, Lucia Macro. She asked if I'd be interested in writing a story about a cupcake shop. Of course I said, "Yes! I'd love to!" She gave me just 3 things to work with: 3 women, a cupcake shop (in a small town), and romance. From there I brainstormed story ideas and put together the outlines for all 3 novellas. I had just taken a trip to the Crab, Seafood, and Wine festival (featured in Recipe for Love), and knew Astoria, Oregon would be the perfect setting for this story.
5) What is your favorite scene in your new release?
Besides all the humorous scenes where each of the three women meet their 'hero,' I really had a good time during the first book of THE CUPCAKE DIARIES: Sweet on You where Andi, Rachel, and Kim are brainstorming names for their cupcake shop. Or maybe my favorite scene is when the girls try to convince Andi to go steal the hero's cupcake...?
Which actor or book character do you have a crush on?
I am a big fan of Mr. Darcy in Pride and Prejudice (who isn't?) and I have a poster of Robin of Sherwood (Robin Hood) in my closet from the 80's Showtime series - which I absolutely loved.
What’s your favorite body part of the opposite sex?
Because I write wholesome, sweet romance, I would have to say the eyes. My copy editor keeps telling me I have too many references to my character's eyes, but I believe the eyes are the lamp to the body. Who a person is and what they really think and feel are all revealed through their eyes.
How did you meet your significant other?
We were the trouble-makers at 4H camp. Once when a bunch of us were chasing each other through the cabins, my guy took a fire hydrant canister and sprayed me with water.
What’s your idea of a perfect date?
Lately, I have had a real desire to have a champagne picnic up in a hot air balloon, much like my characters Kim and Nathaniel in THE CUPCAKE DIARIES: Taste of Romance!
Do you believe in love at first sight?
Yes, I believe there are some people you meet that you feel an inexplicable connection to that has nothing to do with the physical aspect of a relationship.
Facial hair or clean shaven? Some facial hair - like a five o'clock shadow
Alpha or Beta? Alpha
White wine or red? White
Sleep in or get up early? Sleep in
Laptop or desktop? Laptop
Beach or mountains? It's a tie!
Twilight or Fifty Shades? Twilight
City or Country? Country
Clubbing or candlelight dinner? Candlelight dinner
Christmas or Halloween? Christmas!!!! Here come THE CUPCAKE DIARIES: Christmas Special this November!