by Maggie McConnell
Contemporary romance (romantic comedy)
Her mango chutney is exquisite; her blueberry sauce to die for. But Chef de Cuisine Daisy Moon is a woman without a kitchen after a “bit of trouble” at her last job. Now blacklisted from Seattle to San Francisco, Daisy’s sole job offer is from Wild Man Lodge in Otter Bite, Alaska, where the end of the road is just her beginning.
Max cocked his head at her. No siree, Bob. Daisy Moon was not easy. She was like a 1500 piece puzzle, where all the pieces are really tiny, and similar in shape and color, but are nonetheless different, and it would take weeks, maybe even months, just to get the edges put together.
“Don’t look so surprised,” she said. “I know I’m not exactly laid back. Okay, maybe that’s being kind,” she responded to Max’s smile. “But I’m an incredible cook. And a really good speller. Not to mention having a humongous vocabulary. I came in fourth in the national spelling bee championship when I was fourteen.”
Without meaning to, Max pictured Daisy at fourteen, in a prim white blouse and a demure plaid skirt with her hair tied back in a ribbon, triumphantly spelling words like…concupiscence.
“Do I know what men want, or what?” Now Daisy smiled…at herself.
Taking the cue, Max leaned into her and spoke sincerely, but resisted the urge to cup her hand.
“Somewhere there is a man who wants a pretty redhead who’s difficult and a great cook with a really humongous vocabulary who can spell…and next time it won’t be a cross-dressing felon.”
Author Bio and Links
Golden Heart nominee Maggie McConnell spent her childhood overseas as the daughter of US diplomats. Attending college in Illinois, she earned a BA in Art and an MBA while working at the local humane shelter. At 26, she packed her dog and cat into a Ford truck and drove the Alcan Highway to Alaska, where she spent 23 years exploring The Last Frontier in a single-engine Cessna. A vegan and animal rights advocate, Maggie provides a sanctuary on her Arizona ranch for all creatures great and small, but her immediate family includes dog Molly, cat Sara, horses Quinn and Teena, and an ever-growing dynasty of chipmunks. Every year, like the Gray Whale, Maggie returns to Alaska.
BUY SPOONING DAISY
Maggie McConnell will be offering 1) Nordstrom “Daisy” vegan leather clutch, 2) Nordstrom turtle pin, or 3) Rebecca Minkoff star pendant/necklace to 3 randomly drawn winners (US only; international winners will receive a $25 Amazon/BN GC).
My Interview with Maggie McConnell
I’m very excited to have Maggie McConnel visiting today. She was kind enough to let me interview her, and I’m thrilled to publish my very first author interview ever.
Maggie is not only a great author, but an amazing human being with the biggest heart. She has travelled and lived all around the world. I personally love that she’s funny and witty, specially really down to earth… not only do we share love for animals but we both like sitcoms. There’s so much to learn from an author, it is always exciting to find similar tastes and activities.
So, please, take a moment to read the interview and leave a comment. Be bold and brave and ask your own question. I’d love to hear what you have to say 😉
Hello, Maggie! Before I start asking you about everything there is to know about Spooning Daisy, I would love it if you share with us something unique that distinguishes you as an author.
Nothing like starting with a tough question! I think everyone is unique (in his/her perspective) and, at the same time, no one’s unique (we have many shared experiences). If I’m unique, it’s because of my combination of experiences, from my childhood spent overseas in countries like Vietnam and Ecuador, my extensive world travel, my life in Alaska, and now in Arizona, and all that goes with that. I’m not the only one who’s lived in Alaska and can fly a plane. I’m not alone in my love for animals, or even my ability to relocate rattlesnakes. There are others who have Art degrees and still others who have MBAs, and certainly, I’m not the only one who’s had to pick herself up after a divorce late in life. But it’s the combination of those experiences that color my writing (and plotting) and create a different (if not unique) reading experience. And I’m NOT mushy, so neither are my characters. No confessions of undying love or sentimentality. That might make me unique in the romance genre!
I really enjoyed your book and so did many other readers, but, what do you think about you book? What would be your review of Spooning Daisy (or could you describe it in five words)?
I’m humbled by the great reviews. I’m also humbled by the occasional bad review! Fortunately, more good than bad. I’m probably harder on Spooning Daisy than most readers—it’s not The Mists of Avalon—but it’s a happy book, and won’t give anyone nightmares; it’s something I would read in bed before turning out the light. The writing is smart, dialogue witty, and plot unpredictable. The cast of characters, including Otter Bite, is quirky.
The main character in your book, Daisy, was forced to rewrite almost her entire life. Would you share with us a moment in your own life that you’ve had to, or chose to, rewrite your own script?
I’ve started over a few times, by choice and not. When I was 26, I moved from Illinois to Alaska, by choice, but I did it without a job or a support group waiting for me. I sold my 280Z, bought a Ford truck, packed my clothes, art, dog and cat and drove the Alcan. (I’ll put some photos of that time on my author Facebook page.) More change when I moved from Alaska to Arizona, not really by choice, because my hubby wanted a ranch, and once again, I had to adjust to a different life. And then, 7 years later, after 24 years of marriage, we divorced, not my choice, and I felt really isolated and alone, and at age 55, I began a new life. So I understand what Daisy is going through, and I relate to her (sometimes) tough shell.
Even if Max is all kinds of man candy, he isn’t exactly the most lovable character at first read. He takes his time growing on and conquering Daisy’s heart. In your opinion, what’s the most difficult thing about writing characters from the opposite sex?
Dialogue. Fortunately, I have a critique partner who catches dialogue that isn’t “manly” enough! But my career in business, where most of my colleagues were men, and having several very good male friends, plus two stepsons, two sons-in-law, and seven grandsons, gives me an advantage in “knowing” men. And I married later in life, so I had ten years of adult dating to get to know a variety of men. I feel confident in writing a believable character, even if he’s not instantly loveable. (Not every man is.)
Your characters go through a series of events that are challenging, even if they can come out as hilarious and entertaining. Worrying about these isn’t easy. What was Daisy’s hardest scene to write? Where did you get the inspiration to write it?
The hardest scene was probably when Daisy and Max were in the woods at night along with the bear and Daisy kept hearing “Yogigo” thinking it was Japanese, and the ensuing action. It can be hard to get comedy right, keeping it believable, without turning my characters into caricatures. My inspiration comes from watching sitcoms like Modern Family and Big Bang Theory and Life in Pieces (naming a few of my favorites). I gravitate toward the crazy and absurd and can often find it in my own life, then use it for my books.
Editing a book isn’t always fun. Some scenes are difficult to let go of. What did you edit out of Spooning Daisy? Are you willing to share with us one of those rough draft scenes that didn’t make the cut?
I’d share one if I could, but Daisy didn’t require much editing. Ask me this question about Embracing Felicity—book 2 in the Otter Bite series. I got halfway through, started whacking, and took it in a different direction.
I believe that good writers love reading, but that doesn’t mean that authors necessarily follow avid readers’ trends. What’s your favorite under-appreciated novel?
I love Illusions by Richard Bach. I have it in a drawer of my nightstand, and periodically read it again. I’m also a fan of Dorothy Cannell who writes fun and funny mysteries. (Is there such a thing as mys-com?) A favorite book is How to Murder the Man of Your Dreams.
Are there any “Easter Eggs” in your books? Did you hide any secrets in Spooning Daisy that only a few people will find?
I’m not sure if this is an egg, but I do use a phrase in each book, which since I have only one published, no one would notice yet. But if you read book 2 (or any future book) you will find “like a red neon vacancy sign on a midnight highway.”
Authors are constantly under the microscope. People have great expectations about them and nothing less than perfect is always expected. What was an early experience where you learned that language had power?
During my freshman year at college, I had to write about “anything” for an English Composition course. I could think of nothing and time was running out. It was Sunday, and the piece was due Monday. I sat down at the typewriter and cranked out a couple of pages on “time.” The Professor loved it, likened it to Kafka, and I got an A on the paper and for the course. I mean, seriously, I was just trying to complete the assignment. Yet that experience has stayed with me forty years.
Would you give us a piece of advice? What are common traps for aspiring writers? And how do you recommend authors to avoid them?
I feel unqualified to give advice. I’m not trying to dodge the question, I simply don’t think I’m a writer to emulate. However, if you want good advice on how to do this writing/publishing thing? ASK NORA!
I’m sure taking some time to read this interview was worth your time. I’m really greatful for anyone visiting and encourage you to give me a like and leave a comment.
It was super fun to create this interview for Maggie McConnell.
Thank you for visiting, Maggie! It was a wonderful experience to have you visit.
If you haven’t read Spooning Daisy I encourage you to do so. As Maggie described it you’ll find it fun, smart, witty, unpredicable and quirky. I honestly recommend it!
You can buy it here:
Before you go make sure to participate in the givaway that she prepare for you.
A Nordstrom “Daisy” vegan leather clutch, Nordstrom turtle pin, or Rebecca Minkoff star pendant/necklace for 3 randomly drawn winners (US only; international winners will receive a $25 Amazon/BN GC).
Again, don’t be shy. Take a minute to ask her your own questions. I’m sure she’ll be happy to meet you.
Have the best day,