Pens and Peonies is pleased to welcome to the blog Darlene Panzera, author of The Cupcake Diaries.
Darlene, please share how this story and publication came about?
Darlene: I was a new author with Avon Books who had just won the Avon/Debbie Macomber "Make Your Dreams Come True" contest which led my novella, THE BET, to be published with Debbie's in FAMILY AFFAIR. Avon also offered me a second contract for the full length novel retitled, BET YOU'LL MARRY ME. I was working on a follow up proposal when out of the blue my editor, Lucia Macro, at Avon asked if I would be interested in writing a series about a cupcake shop. To have my editor offer me this opportunity was huge. I told her, "Of course I'm interested!" My editor gave me only 3 guidelines: 3 women, a cupcake shop (in a small town), and romance! From there I spent the next two weeks working day and night to come up with a story and proposal for all three novellas. I had just come back from a weekend trip to Astoria, Oregon where I attended the Crab, Seafood, and Wine festival featured in Book 2: Recipe for Love. I had teased my friends I was going to write a story set in Astoria because I loved the small historic seaport town so much and so I immediately knew Astoria would be the perfect setting for the cupcake shop. My editor loved the proposal. She said the humorous storyline gave her a good laugh and she needed a good laugh that week. So here I am today, celebrating the release of THE CUPCAKE DIARIES: Sweet on You (May 7), Recipe for Love (May 14), and Taste of Romance (May 21). And as a fun bonus: if you take the last word of each title it spells....You Love Romance!
Enticing title? Check. Intriguing back cover copy? Check. Delicious read? Check. Darlene Panzera's The Cupcake Diaries: Sweet on You is as sweet as it is filling. She's taken two of my favorites and mashed them together. Cupcakes and romance. A winning combination. She hit on every key point needed when writing a novella, and it's always tough to include an entire romance into such a short read and still end with a happily ever after.
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Darlene Panzera is a graduate of the Writer's Digest advanced novel writing school, The Christian Writer's Guild apprentice writing program, and a member of Romance Writer's of America's Greater Seattle and Peninsula chapters. She is the winner of the "Make Your Dreams Come True" contest sponsored by Avon Books, which led her novella, THE BET, to be published with Debbie Macomber's FAMILY AFFAIR released July 2012. The full length novel, retitled, BET YOU'LL MARRY ME, releases December 4, 2012. She is currently working on a 3 novella set for Avon Books, a division of HarperCollins, to be published March 2013 titled, THE CUPCAKE DIARIES. 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 and her two horses, and loves camping, hiking, photography, and lazy days at the lake. Write to Darlene Panzera at : P.O. Box 1876 Belfair, WA 98528 Or visit her website: www.darlenepanzera.com
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