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Jill Shalvis | Finding Inspiration in the Food Aisles


I was grocery shopping and trying to figure out what I wanted to write next when I ran into a guy in Army gear in the cookie aisle. Be still my heart. He had dark sunglasses on, absolutely no smile, and testosterone was pouring off him.

He ultimately choose two packages of granola bars instead of cookies, which nearly killed the fantasy but I recovered. By the time Id gotten to my car, Id concocted a whole back story for him. And just like that, ANIMAL MAGNETISM (2/1) was born.

Brady Miller doesnt smile much because he hasnt had anything to smile about in a very long time. Hes an ex Army ranger, now a pilot for hire for organizations like Doctors Without Borders, back in the states at the request of his foster brothers. They run a large animal center in the middle of Nowhere, Idaho, and need his help.

He agrees to stick around for unusually complicated reasons, even though hes lived his life as purposely uncomplicated as possible.  Fact is, hes not much of a family guy. Hes always been a wanderer, no roots, no home base.

Maybe even a guy who cant be saved.

It takes a village to show him the truth, including one silly little puppy and one sharp-tongued, sharp-witted heroine willing to knock him flat on his ass to make sure he gets it that he was never lost at all, and as the saying goes, home is where the heart is

Now Im back to grocery shopping, searching the aisles for both ice cream and inspiration for my next story

Jill Shalvis

Random commenter will win a title from Jill's backlist.




80 comments posted.

Re: Jill Shalvis | Finding Inspiration in the Food Aisles

Why is it that I never see someone like that in the grocery
store? Were the granola bars chocolate covered, at least??lol!
I am looking forward to reading this book!
(Marilu Turillo 12:18pm March 5, 2011)

I could give Brady Miller plenty to smile about...
(Shana Skaletsky 12:55pm March 5, 2011)

I believe even I could be inspired if I had such a delicious encounter. A MUST read book obviously.
(Mary Preston 2:34am March 5, 2011)

I just recently heard of you through a fellow book lover and have you in my TBR pile, this was a nice coincidence.
(TinaMarie R 3:16am March 5, 2011)

Hopefuly you will continue to find inspiration in unexpected places. This book sounds really good! Best of luck withthe release.
(June Manning 4:04am March 5, 2011)

WOW!! This guy sounds like eye candy to me!!!!!!!!!! I live in an Air Force town and really enjoy the sites (if you know what I mean). Keep writing - I love your books!!
(Patricia Pickett 6:31am March 5, 2011)

Thank you for your books!
(Julia Shanko 6:45am March 5, 2011)

I want to read this book! TBB, TBR IMMEDIATELY!!!!!!!!!
(Sandra Spilecki 7:08am March 5, 2011)

What a wonderful way to get a story idea!
(Marjorie Carmony 7:33am March 5, 2011)

Hmmm, I need to dress better when I go grocery shopping -- you never
know ;)
(Mona Garg 7:43am March 5, 2011)

Book sounds great! Between spring & summer here just what I can look forward to.
(Susan King 8:04am March 5, 2011)

Who knew hunks were in the grocery store. I think I need to shop more often. Thank you for the inspiration and a great book.
(Barbara Ryan 8:12am March 5, 2011)

Nice. I'm 5'0 and can't reach the top shelf, so it always works to get a guy's attention in the supermarket. But nothing has panned out yet, other than some serious eye candy.
(Pam Howell 8:12am March 5, 2011)

I love the unusual places that authors find inspiration. All I ever see at the stores I shop at are either senior citizens or moms with kids. I guess I need to move to a better town.
(Debbie Penny 8:14am March 5, 2011)

This sounds like a great book. Knowing what your inspiration was makes the book a 'must read'.
(Dotti Jones 8:27am March 5, 2011)

Awesome, I love to make up stories about what that person over there is REALLY here for...can be fun.
(Felina Pence 9:23am March 5, 2011)

Sounds like a great book, can't wait to read it!
(Mary Smith 9:26am March 5, 2011)

I'd love to have a shopping experience like that! Maybe I need to focus on more than my shopping list!
(Cheryl Kelley 9:29am March 5, 2011)

How come I never see someone like that in MY grocery story?
(Cheryl Castings 9:34am March 5, 2011)

LOL I meant "store" not "story"
(Cheryl Castings 9:35am March 5, 2011)

I love the story line, and know I'll enjoy the book!! It takes a very creative mind to be able to see a person in a store, and be able to create a whole book around it!! Books with animals in it are always an added plus. They're just what you need for this time of year - something to make these dreary days a little sunnier!! I loved the blog!
(Peggy Roberson 10:02am March 5, 2011)

I've always heard that THE place to meet a person was the grocery store! I need to look closer the next time I go for groceries!

ANIMAL MAGNETISM sounds wonderful!
(Cynthia Netherton 10:19am March 5, 2011)

I am such a sucker for a man in uniform! I am looking for this book! Count me in.
(Dolores Feagin 10:44am March 5, 2011)

My son, single at the time, once told me that a borrowed baby and trip to the supermarket was the best way to meet nice women--the food aisle thing apparently goes both ways!
(Janet Martin 10:49am March 5, 2011)

Very cute cover! I love it when men have a soft spot for animals!
(MaryAnne Banks 10:53am March 5, 2011)

And to think I thought I hated to go to the grocery store!! Maybe I should go more often
(Dawn Staniszeski 11:05am March 5, 2011)

I've often wondered how authors came up with ideas for books. This one sounds real good. I'd love to read it.
(Wilma Frana 11:27am March 5, 2011)

What a unique way to come up with a story!
(Anna Speed 11:44am March 5, 2011)

I absolutely LOVE, LOVE, LOVE your books, ALL of them: I love your style, your prose, your sense of humor, the way your describe your characters' emotions/decision and how you weave, love/lust/sex and life into your stories, as painful and playful as they are. I LOVED "Animal Magnetism"- is it a series, pl, pl, pl, make it!!. I LOVED "Simply Irresistible" and can't wait for "The Sweetest Thing" - I've pre-ordered-how fast can you type- and all your other books. I have been meaning to write a review on Amazon for Animal bt I would say what I say to all my book-buddy/book-lover friends: I wish more people wrote like you. I've turned a friend into your "Temptation" series and you are just fabulous!! So thank you. If I win this book, I will pass it on to someone else, so they too can fall in love with your writing.
The airplane scene at the end of "Animal Magnetism" just brought me to tears...oh..and my daughters now want a puppy and I saw one and immediately thought of your book.
(Clio Teixeira 1:19pm March 5, 2011)

I just love that cover! Who would not drool over a hunky guy holding an adorable puppy!
Love how the story and character came about! :)
(Colleen Conklin 1:23pm March 5, 2011)

I read the blog and started laughing, and then I thought, "Hey! I've got to go to the grocery this evening!!" So, we'll see what happens!

Anyway, the book sounds really good, so I'll have to start looking for it.


(Lynn Rettig 1:23pm March 5, 2011)

What a fun column! Thanks for visiting.
(G S Moch 1:30pm March 5, 2011)

I live in a major university city with tens of thousands of students. I am always amazed at the guys in the grocery store. You look in their shopping cart and they have 7 packages of meat, a tiny package of salad and then some bags of chips. It's like they think testosterone comes straight from beef. These guys would be the evil villians.
(Heather Pearson 1:34pm March 5, 2011)

Wow, my grocery stores are not half as exciting as yours, nor are my coffee shops...maybe it has something to do with the climate- I am in the deep-freeze part of the country. Maybe I should start shopping out of state.LOL Bt I love your books to death- they are great and have been following you a for a long, long time- thank you for great books!! "Animal Magnetism" and "Simply Irresistible" were magnetic and irresistible...I know, could not resist!!:) highly recommend.
(Maria Antunes 1:35pm March 5, 2011)

I guess I should be going to the grocery store more often! I'd like to see how he handles the rescue animals.
(Sue Farrell 1:38pm March 5, 2011)

Ok, I 'm going to have to start leaving my hubby at home when shopping... or just go when he's at work... I live in a college town... so it helps [for eye candy] to go to those mini-marts... collge kids don't 'grocery shop' they just skim the snack aisles..
(Cate Sparks 1:51pm March 5, 2011)

Inspiration can take all forms! I'm really looking forward to your new hero! He sounds irresistible!
(Pamela Stewart 1:58pm March 5, 2011)

Oh, as for grocery store-inspiration/drooling- I envy you- whenever I am grocery shopping I either have my 2 young daughters in tow- which is disastrous!!- or I am listening to my kindle, so I am lucky to find my way to the milk isle without bumping into too many people- so I am out of luck there!!!:)
(Clio Teixeira 2:50pm March 5, 2011)

Grocery store address please! I have to go shopping later this week, and will really keep my eyes open now.
(Debra Simning-Chapman 2:53pm March 5, 2011)

Yeah, I don't see guys like Brady when I'm shopping at the market.
(Jane Cheung 3:06pm March 5, 2011)

Love the way you were inspired to write this story. Inspire can be found anywhere.
(Leni Kaye 3:16pm March 5, 2011)

Loved the cover,can't wait to read the book.
(Sheila True 3:34pm March 5, 2011)

Great start to a book :-) I look forward to reading it.
(Christine Arcidiacono 3:51pm March 5, 2011)

I loved how shopping atn the store helped on your book and the cover is so hot
(Patricia Kasner 3:56pm March 5, 2011)

The cover is so cute.
(Kim C 4:16pm March 5, 2011)

My cousin met her husband in the produce section of supermarket, bt they ended up divorcing later on, maybe if they had met in the frozen section..:)
Your books are so amazing to read. I love them!! And I want a puppy and a Brady too.!!! I will even start believing in supermarket love again....
(Clicia Tremblay 4:24pm March 5, 2011)

There's nothing like a hot man and a great dog!
(Susan Shapley 4:47pm March 5, 2011)

imagination is a wonderful thing.
What about finding inspiration in
a outdoor store?
(Dayle Butler 4:53pm March 5, 2011)

I hope those granola bars at least had some chocolate on top.
Isn't it wonderful where inspiration rears its head like in the cookie isle in the grocery store.
(Gigi Hicks 5:11pm March 5, 2011)

What a great store to find just what you need in it.
(Alfredo Reyes 5:16pm March 5, 2011)

You have a great eye for inspiration!
(Diane Sallans 5:34pm March 5, 2011)

My grocery store is the place to be on Sunday mornings. More guys in there.
(Lena Lee 5:35pm March 5, 2011)

Have heard rave reviews about this book. Can't wait to read it.
(Maria Munoz 5:38pm March 5, 2011)

I never see anyone good looking in the mkt.

Would love to win a backlist book!
(Pat Lieberman 5:50pm March 5, 2011)

Got to love a man in uniform even if he doesn't get cookies. I absolutely love the puppy on the cover. He definitely adds to the lovely male on the cover.
(Chris Roberts 6:06pm March 5, 2011)

Forget it Mom, I've got this one. Hey folks, Missy here, the not quite a service dog but working on it dog. I've been to plenty of grocery stores and Mom usually doesn't notice people unless they say something to her about me. I have to tell you I have a couple of favorite aisles and the cookie aisle is one of them. I've never had a cookie (except the one that Mom made, peanut butter, and it was good) but my favorite training food is there. Spray cheese. Yes you read that right. I learned the idea of heeling with spray cheese. Mom kept it in place and I learned to walk in the right place with it. My other favorite aisle is the cereal aisle. As long as it doesn't have sugar in it I'm a happy pup.

But the sexy men? Gotta go in the evenings and look at what's in the basket. Beer? Usually have a responsibility issue somewhere. Wine? Usually have a "taken" sign somewhere. Junk food? Usually have a kid somewhere. But healthy food? He deserves an intro to Mom and I'm good at making that happen *evil grin* !!!
(Christina Harrison 6:10pm March 5, 2011)

Love the cover and blurb! Wishing you good luck and happy writing!
(Tracie Travis 6:22pm March 5, 2011)

Love the doggie on the cover and what is holding it isn't bad either even though I am 64
(Mary Branham 7:11pm March 5, 2011)

It reminds me of when I go shopping with my sister. She loves to see a man in uniform. This book sounds like a good read.
(Tabitha Monroe 7:16pm March 5, 2011)

Love the cover, and the cute little puppy too. Gotta luv a guy with a cute pup, right?
(Jan Capstick 7:59pm March 5, 2011)

My parents in law live in Spokane, near Idaho. I LOVE that area of the country! And My daughter and her boyfriend just got a new puppy that my husband and I are calling the "grandpuppy"! Romance, a puppy and a beautiful locale. WOW! Sounds like a good one!
(Sandy Fielder 8:03pm March 5, 2011)

I want this book!!!
(Audra Holtwick 8:21pm March 5, 2011)

I Want to read this book!
(Janice Reyes 8:23pm March 5, 2011)

Puppy is adorable & so is the guy. I'll be looking for this book.
(r w 8:25pm March 5, 2011)

I never see anything even remotely like that in the grocery stores in MY area...
(Mirm Caraway 8:29pm March 5, 2011)

I must be getting old, I don't see that much eye candy anymore. Or it just could be my husband is all the eye candy I need. I look forward to reading your book it sounds great.
(Kathleen Bianchi 8:47pm March 5, 2011)

That's so cool that your imagination could take off like that! Congrats on your new book!
(Renee Pajda 8:48pm March 5, 2011)

I loved this book and totally cannot wait for the second one to come out.
(Pat Richardson 8:49pm March 5, 2011)

Hmmm nice, next time you will have to ask the subject of your intentions to pose for a cover shot :) can you imagine how flattered he would be!
(Darci Paice 9:22pm March 5, 2011)

I must be out of something, anything, in my cupboard! I have to say that is an unusual way to come up with a story or to meet someone!
(Diane Sadler 10:36pm March 5, 2011)

Sounds like a great story, and I wish I shopped at your store!
(Robin Daily 11:46pm March 5, 2011)

I'm obviously going to the wrong supermarket *lol*:
(Birgit Lehner 4:39am March 6, 2011)

sounds like a read i could get into...funny that inspiration can (and most often does) come in the most unexpected places.......
(Natalie Kozaczka 12:07pm March 6, 2011)

(Silvana Moscato 12:51pm March 6, 2011)

I am from Oceanside California... home of Camp Pen. I've seen
a gazillion men like this and married a few too...lol! Ain't
nothin' like a man in uniform.
(Michele Powell 1:45pm March 6, 2011)

I am from Oceanside California... home of Camp Pen. I've seen
a gazillion men like this and married a few too...lol! Ain't
nothin' like a man in uniform.
(Michele Powell 1:45pm March 6, 2011)

A man in uniform makes me look at least twice. You never know who you'll meet when out and about in weekly activities of restoring your supplies and checking the hardware store for things to fix or fix up.
(Alyson Widen 4:14pm March 6, 2011)

Your book sounds wonderful!
(Yuka Liew 6:12pm March 6, 2011)

You'r books sound great.
(Ann Garland 1:49am March 8, 2011)

oops, sorry for the typo. I meant "your".
(Ann Garland 1:50am March 8, 2011)

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