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TJ Alexander | 20 Questions: CHEF’S KISS

Chef's Kiss
TJ Alexander




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May 2022
On Sale: May 3, 2022
320 pages
ISBN: 1982189088
EAN: 9781982189082
Kindle: B09JPJNZ4P
Trade Size / e-Book
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Also by TJ Alexander:
Chef's Kiss, May 2022
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1--What is the title of your latest release?


2--What’s the “elevator pitch” for your new book?

A high-strung pastry chef’s professional goals are interrupted by an unexpected career transition and the introduction of her wildly attractive nonbinary kitchen manager.

3--How did you decide where your book was going to take place?

Well, I live in New York City, and it seems like every YouTuber with a huge cooking channel is here, so it was a natural fit.

4--Would you hang out with your heroine in real life?

Yes–one hundred percent. Is Simone a super uptight person who might grate on my nerves if we were chilling out together? Maybe. Would she be cooking for me, though? Probably, and that is good enough for me. I have a ton of friends who are hardasses on the exterior and I think they’re neat.

5--What are three words that describe your hero?

they/them/theirs - Kidding! I would say Ray is optimistic, outgoing… and tall.

6--What’s something you learned while writing this book?

How to brew beer at home. I knew I wanted Ray to have a hobby that was kitchen-adjacent but not food-related, and homebrewing seemed like a perfect fit. I called my older brother, who’s been homebrewing for years, to ask one simple question and I ended up getting several hours of instruction. I haven’t brewed my own yet, but as soon as he lets me mess with his setup I’m going to try. Unlike Ray, I do not have the counter space in my apartment for all the equipment.

7--Do you edit as you draft or wait until you are totally done?

I usually get to the 75% mark of a draft and then go back to edit a bit while I piece the last 25% together.

8--What’s your favorite foodie indulgence?

Hm, I would say fancy condiments. I have a ton of jars of small batch jellies and sauces and chili crisps and all sorts of things. I can’t say no to a good spread.

9--Describe your writing space/office!

small, blue, with a tiny view!

10--Who is an author you admire?

Too many to count! I couldn’t possibly say. Every name has flown from my head.

11--Is there a book that changed your life?

Orlando, for obvious reasons.

12--Tell us about when you got “the call.” (when you found out your book was going to be published)

My agent called me while I was playing Overwatch (it’s what I do to take my mind off stressful waiting) and said, “It’s champagne time.” That was the code word we agreed on at the start. I felt it was very important to know exactly when I could have a glass of champagne. I didn’t want to pop too early, and I definitely didn’t want to miss it.

13--What’s your favorite genre to read?

Romance, but I also love reading mysteries and nonfiction. If there’s a weird historical moment that I never learned about in school, I want to read all about it.

14--What’s your favorite movie?

Emperor’s New Groove

15--What is your favorite season?


16--How do you like to celebrate your birthday?

Haha, that’s funny! I was born near Christmas so really any acknowledgement of my birthday is considered a win. I usually celebrate it very quietly and with a lot of resentment in my heart toward the Christ Child.

17--What’s a recent tv show/movie/book/podcast you highly recommend?

I just binged the entire first season of Normal Gossip, a podcast that’s just…normal people’s gossipy stories. I loved every minute. People are so weird, and their weird lives are so fascinating.

18--What’s your favorite type of cuisine?

Ooooh, unfair question. Can I say any nationality of stuffed dough? Dumplings of all stripes. Is that a cuisine or just a food group? I say it’s a cuisine. Pierogi, potstickers, empanadas, baozi, calzones, pasties: truly the best humanity has to offer.

19--What do you do when you have free time?

I cook every day, pretty much. I bake when I can. I’m also into bird watching because I’m 85 years old at heart, but it’s been a while since the weather has cooperated. Oh, and I tend to my houseplants. They’ll be annoyed if I don’t mention them.

20--What can readers expect from you next?

More queer people kissing!

CHEF'S KISS by TJ Alexander

Chef's Kiss


A high-strung pastry chef’s professional goals are interrupted by an unexpected career transition and the introduction of her wildly attractive nonbinary kitchen manager in this deliciously fresh and witty queer rom-com.

Simone Larkspur is a perfectionist pastry expert with a dream job at The Discerning Chef, a venerable cookbook publisher in New York City. All she wants to do is create the perfect loaf of sourdough and develop recipes, but when The Discerning Chef decides to bring their brand into the 21st century by pivoting to video, Simone is thrust into the spotlight and finds herself failing at something for the first time in her life.

To make matters worse, Simone has to deal with Ray Lyton, the new test kitchen manager, whose obnoxious cheer and outgoing personality are like oil to Simone’s water. When Ray accidentally becomes a viral YouTube sensation with a series of homebrewing videos, their eccentric editor in chief forces Simone to work alongside the chipper upstart or else risk her beloved job. But the more they work together, the more Simone realizes her heart may be softening like butter for Ray.

Things get even more complicated when Ray comes out at work as nonbinary to mixed reactions—and Simone must choose between the career she fought so hard for and the person who just might take the cake (and her heart).


Romance LGBTQ | Romance Comedy [Atria/Emily Bestler Books, On Sale: May 3, 2022, Trade Size / e-Book, ISBN: 9781982189082 / eISBN: 9781982189099]

Buy CHEF'S | Kindle | | Apple Books | Kobo | Google Play | Powell's Books | Books-A-Million | Indie BookShops | Ripped Bodice | Love's Sweet Arrow | | Book Depository | | Amazon CA | Amazon UK | Amazon DE | Amazon FR

About TJ Alexander

TJ Alexander (they/them) is an amateur baker and author who writes about queer love. Originally from Florida, they received their MA in writing and publishing from Emerson College in Boston. They live in New York City with their wife and various houseplants.





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