I love food. I love to eat food, cook food, and watch chefs make food on TV, so
when I thought of Tessa Lawrence, the protagonist for COOKING UP TROUBLE, I saw
her in a kitchen. When her grandfather died and her grandmother decided to move
to a ranch house in town, Grams gave her their farm and business.
Tessa grows fresh fruits and produce. During the summer, she runs a farm stand
and a bakery. She and Grams bake together every Thursday and sell their goods
on Fridays and Saturdaysâ€”cookies and specialty cakes and pies. The shopâ€™s
shelves are lined with all things pickled, along with a variety of pestos.
While Tessa and Grams cook together, Grams gladly dispenses advice. Tessaâ€™s
given up on men after finding her fiancĂ©e in the arms of another woman. Grams
wants her to get out there again, to find someone else, so when Ian McGregor
buys the property next to Tessaâ€™s, Grams sees an opportunity to jumpstart
Tessaâ€™s hormones and jolt her back into the world of dating.
Grams just might be on the right track, too. Ianâ€™s happy to drop by Tessaâ€™s for
supper most nights. Heâ€™s good-looking and charmingâ€¦and engaged. That pleases
Tessa. Heâ€™s off-limits, safe to have as a friend. Grams isnâ€™t so thrilled, but
the man can be had with a casserole and cookie. Thereâ€™s still hope.
When some people think of Indiana, they think of cornâ€”which we have a lot of.
But to me, Indiana is greenâ€”lush, beautiful, vibrant greensâ€”so I use fictional
towns and plunk them in an Indiana setting for a lot of my stories. I love
cooking and gardening, and those sneak into my novels, too. Iâ€™ve collected more
strays than I deserve. Iâ€™m a fan of Agatha Christie and urban fantasy, and I
believe in happy ever after.
Tessa Lawrence swore off men when she found her fiancĂ©e in the arms of
another woman. These days, she concentrates on caring for her small farm and
running a bakery and farm stand out of its barn. Ian McGregor moves to Mill
Pond to build a resort on the property next to Tessaâ€™s. Tessaâ€™s fine with that.
Mill Pondâ€™s trying to attract more tourists. The problem is, Ian understands
business, but heâ€™s never changed a tire or pounded a nail. She finds herself
helping him more than she expected, and spending time around Ian is a dangerous
proposition. The manâ€™s far too good-looking and fun to be around.
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