Yolanda Carter comes from a family of artisans and lives in her deceased grandparent’s cottage in Sherman Oaks, California. She works at a small cat shelter but dreams of owning a bakery. Her friend from high school, Teagan Mishkin, knows that Yolanda needs money and suggests better paying work as a cocktail waitress. The interview takes an unexpected turn and she stumbles across a scheme to close down the cat shelter.
The plan Yolanda concocts may be the only way to save the shelter. Helped by her parents, coworkers and friends, a rising young blogger also takes an interest in her plight. Will she bake the best brownies of her life?
BONUS ~ Includes the winning brownie recipe!
Targeted Age Group:: 16+
What Inspired You to Write Your Book?
I’ve discovered something funny about writing romance books – I like ‘em sweet. Literally. In my first, Sweet Dreams, the cover art shows an original photograph of brightly colored [and incredibly sweet and fruity] French macarons. These sandwich-type cookies are small and delicate but oh so worth it! Subtle hint: try one…or a few!
But how do I go from macarons to the classic and better known dessert of brownies? Well, I didn’t plan it. In fact, I thought I was writing the first book of the romance series, which is about cakes, not brownies. Even though I was following a detailed outline, the brownie angle took over and so I went with it. The first book of the Yolanda’s Yummery series establishes how this yummery [bakery] came into existence.
How Did You Come up With Your Characters?
I wanted to write about someone who was creative and also happens to adore cats. At first I envisioned her as someone who makes soap and bath & body products, because I did that for a few years, but then the idea of having her be obsessed with baking really hit home. I love sweets. I love going to bakeries and buying freshly baked bread and cakes and cookies. My other characters have different interests, like Yolanda Carter’s boyfriend, Zac Field–he’s obsessed with miniature golf. Her best friend, Teagan Mishkin, is very fond of wealthy men. Yolanda’s parents are also very creative in their own ways.
Zac Field sniffed the air. “Hey Yolanda, whatcha been baking?”
Yolanda glanced at the clock above them and rushed back to the oven, switching on the light and looking through the glass window at the baking cookies. She grabbed her oven mitts, put them on, opened the door, and felt the rush of heat and the aroma of buttery sweet coffee. The two dozen cookies were at that golden stage and she removed the sheet and placed it on top of a waiting towel. She smelled them once more, shut the oven door with her foot, and took a thin pancake turner and moved them one by one to a wire rack. Zac stood near the other side of the island and watched intently. After the last cookie was transferred, he reached over to grab one but she gently slapped his hand.
“They need to cool off for about five minutes before you can…”
He picked up a soft cookie and put it in his mouth, cringing. “This is hot.”
“That’s why I said you need to wait.”
“But it’s good. What kind is it?”
“These are Brazilian Coffee Cookies.”
“Nice.” He was about to reach for another one but she moved the rack. “So, you think about working at a bakery?”
“I’m thinking about owning my own bakery, you know. But I’ve decided not to call it a bakery; it’ll be known as Yolanda’s Yummery.”
He shook his head. “Yolanda’s whatery?”
“Yolanda’s Yummery. Because I’m going to bake everything there myself and it’ll be yummy. Cookies, cakes, cupcakes and brownies to start with.”
“I’ve never heard of a yummery before.” He noticed her iPad sitting on the counter near the oven and went over and picked it up. “Let me see about a yummery in…” he typed in the word and waited. Scrolling down the screen with his eyes following his fingers, he shook his head. “Nothing. No yummery. Yum. Yummy…but not yummery. People won’t know what it is. They’ll walk in and go are we supposed to say yum?”
She giggled as she went over to him and he handed her the tablet. “See? Nothing listed.”
“That’s good. I’ll be creating my own brand.”
About the Author:
Lisa Maliga has been writing ever since she learned how to put crayon to paper back in kindergarten. Since then, she has learned to type and uses a laptop, citing it as way more convenient. She still makes and uses her own soapy creations, and she sometimes bakes brownies, cupcakes, and cookies.
Links to Purchase Print Books
Link to Buy The Great Brownie Taste-off (The Yolanda’s Yummery Series, Book 1) Print Edition at Amazon
Links to Purchase eBooks
Link To Buy The Great Brownie Taste-off (The Yolanda’s Yummery Series, Book 1) On Amazon
Link to The Great Brownie Taste-off (The Yolanda’s Yummery Series, Book 1) on Barnes and Noble
Link to The Great Brownie Taste-off (The Yolanda’s Yummery Series, Book 1) for sale on Smashwords
Link to The Great Brownie Taste-off (The Yolanda’s Yummery Series, Book 1) for sale on iBooks
Link to The Great Brownie Taste-off (The Yolanda’s Yummery Series, Book 1) eBook for sale via other sites
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