Seattle-based baker Craig Oliver leads a life that is happily routine: baking cupcakes for an enormous family reunion, managing Sucre Coeur for its frequently absent owner, and closing out his day with a pint at the local pub. He has a kind heart, a knack for pastry, and a weakness for damaged people.
Habitual playboy Alex Scheff is looking to drown his sorrows, but instead discovers that he may have a weakness for Englishmen who carry cookies in their pockets. Can a seemingly incompatible pair find the recipe for love in a relationship they claim is casual?
With a wink, Craig pulls a ten-dollar bill out of his left coat pocket and a carefully bagged almond and raspberry-lemon croissant, Katie’s all-time favorite baked good, out of the right. He passes them across the bar as if he’s James Bond—a very cheeky and cheery sort of 007. “You know I’ll always look out for you. Keep the change.”
Katie squeals and flops across the bar to squeeze him breathless, and her ponytail slaps him in the nose. She bounces off with her treat in hand and Craig shakes his head and pulls long black and red hairs from his face, as he does every time this happens. Katie really is his favorite bartender at The Order of the Garter, hell, his favorite bartender in Seattle and maybe even the world. Much too good to be working at a grotty little pub, fending off unsavory advances and spilled drinks four nights a week; that’s why Craig will bring her any bakery treat she wants, anytime she wants it, until she finally wises up and gets the hell out of this place.
Time for another sip of this excellent, excellent stout: Craig reaches forward. It’s a good Thursday.
Of course, that’s when it takes quite the sharp turn, leaving every Seattle-pub-Thursday Craig’s ever known in the dust.
“Well, aren’t you a hit with the ladies,” comes a surly drawl from his left, startling Craig just as he’s got his fingers around his glass. “Was that a croissant in your pocket, or were you actually happy to see her?”
“Both,” Craig replies, shifting around to lean on his elbow and survey the formerly silent pile of misery hunched over two stools down, the limp guy at the end of the bar Craig had spotted on his way in. He is not unconscious after all, much to Craig’s surprise; judging by the row of empty shot glasses upside down in front of him and the distinct aroma of tequila emanating a good four-foot radius from his person, he should be. Craig winces and turns away as the fumes burn his nose.
“Baked goods. That’s a new one. Never saw anyone use baking to hit on the ladies before.” Mr. Misery sways his head upright, pushes a wild flop of brown hair out of his eyes and swings around until he locates Craig. He blinks. “Does it work?”
Surprised by the color of the eyes meeting his—an unusual shade, gray, not blue-gray or blue, but the gray of a sky covered in early storm clouds—Craig answers without thinking. “I wouldn’t know. I don’t hit on girls. Katie’s my friend, not my type.”
Today I’m very lucky to be interviewing Lissa Reed, author of Definitely, Maybe, Yours.
Hi Lissa, thank you for agreeing to this interview. Tell us a little about yourself, your background, and your current book.
Hello! Thank you so much for having me today! I’m a writer slash software support analyst living in Texas. By day I’m a walking, talking encyclopedia and by night I’m feverishly interfering in the love lives of my fictional characters! It’s a fun existence. Definitely is my first novel, a story of cautious love, yummy desserts, and learning to believe in yourself.
1) Describe your book to us.
Definitely is the unlikely love story between Craig and Alex, two men who on paper shouldn’t work but find themselves drawn to each other all the same — my favorite sort of thing to write, honestly! Homebody Craig likes his uneventful life just fine, but he also can’t resist an opportunity to help a soul in need, by whatever means necessary. Enter Alex, freshly and harshly dumped, medicating himself with tequila and looking for more things to numb the pain. Much to their surprise, their one night stand ends up being no such thing.
2) Have you ever read something that made you think differently about your genre? Can you tell us what it was?
I grew up reading hetero romance novels, so I had a very set idea of what romance as a genre was—and Emma Holly’s “Ménage” turned that right on its head. It was a book about two men and a woman in a relationship, and one of the men was bisexual. I had never seen such a thing in a romance novel before and it had the effect of opening my mind and leading me to seek out even more “off the beaten path” sorts of books.
3) Tell us about your character’s family life?
Craig is from a large mixed-race family in England – his dad’s family is black, from the British Virgin Islands, and his mother’s family is white and from Scotland. It’s a combination that makes for a mostly close-knit, boisterous family who constantly meddles in each others’ business. Craig’s parents, Moira and Stephen, think of their children’s partners as family members, as adopted extra children, and treat them as such.
Alex has a slightly different family dynamic – he’s an only child, and his parents tend towards workaholism. They love him very much, but weren’t around maybe as much as they could have been. It’s left him uncertain of how to identify love, unaware of when it’s directed at him, and not really into forming attachments.
4) Compare yourself to your main character.
Like Craig, I bake and I’m a giant softie. Like Alex, I’m a bit snarky and anxious.
5) Describe your past week as a type of landscape or a weather forecast.
Lots of high-pressure systems coming in from the north to make things warm and humid for a while, but they’ll blow out shortly and leave the area nice and cool for the rest of the week. Keep an eye out for scattered showers!
Our books are also available for order from the Apple iBookstore, Book Depository and Indiebound.
Rafflecopter Prize: Grand Prize: $25 Interlude Press gift card. Second prize: One of five e-copies of ‘Definitely, Maybe, Yours
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About the author
Lissa Reed is a writer of fiction, blogs and bawdy Renaissance song parodies. She traces her first interest in becoming a writer to the fourth grade, when her teacher gave her the gift of her first composition book. A former newspaper editor, Reed shifted her focus to romance and literary fiction early in her writing career. She lives in the Dallas-Fort Worth area and is currently working on her new novel, Certainly, Possibly, You—the sequel to Definitely, Maybe, Yours.
Where to find the author:
Connect with Lissa Reed at lissareed.com; on Tumblr at http://lissareedbooks.tumblr.com/; on Twitter @LissaReedBooks; on Goodreads at http://goodreads.com/LissaReedBooks and on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/authorlissareed