Thursday, December 15, 2016

A Prelude to Christmas: Cecelia's story about sugar, spice and romance

Welcome Cecelia Dowdy to the blog. She's here to talk about her new novella, Sugar and Spice. It is part of the "Frosting and Flurries: Five Delicious Christmas Romances" book box set. You are in for a sweet treat! I do mean that literally because toward the end of her author interview, Cecelia shares a link to one of her favorite and most famous recipes that you can make at home. Enjoy!

Here's the book blurb for Sugar and SpiceSheila Parks is stunned when Mason Smith, the identical twin brother of her ex-boyfriend Reese, moves to Blue Spring and opens a bakery. Reese’s cruel breakup still bothers her and seeing somebody who looks just like him is a painful reminder of her predicament. Unemployed, Sheila needs financial help and it appears that Mason can assist her with her problem. Can she learn to trust a man who looks just like her ex? 

Mason is stunned when Sheila storms into his bakery, mistakenly thinking that he’s Reese. Mason is used to comforting his womanizing brother’s ex-girlfriends. A stutterer, Mason has always had a hard time socializing with others. However, he finds himself smitten with beautiful Sheila. Can he control his stutter so that he can ask Sheila to be his date to his grandmother’s Christmas birthday party?

Both Sheila and Mason deal with past pains as they work together during the Christmas season.

Interview with Cecelia Dowdy, author of Sugar and Spice:

Alexis: Is your story all about sugar, spice and everything nice? Lol. I had to ask that! But seriously, tell us about this lovely Christmas book of yours. Is it your first? Tell us how it became a part of the Frosting and Flurries Collection.

Cecelia: Both Sheila and Mason deal with past pains as they work together during the Christmas season. Since I love desserts, I thought it’d be fun to do a Christmas novella collection that included tasty cakes! In Frostings and Flurries, each novella features a cake along with a recipe at the end of the story!

Alexis: Tell us about your story’s heroine Sheila. What is she like? Who does she lean on for support? What is her role in this story?

Cecelia: Sheila mostly leans on her mom and her cousin Miriam for support. She used to see her best friend, Toni, quite often. But, Toni got married (Book 2 in The Bakery Romance Series). Since Toni has moved away and relocated to Chicago, Sheila misses her. Emailing and texting is just not the same as having your best friend live down the street!

Sheila is unemployed and she’s struggling financially. She’s learning that she needs to really lean on her faith to get her through the tough times. 

Alexis: Tell me about Reese, Sheila’s ex-boyfriend. What’s he like? Why did they break up? What is it about Reese that makes Sheila so angry?

Cecelia: Reese cheated on Sheila and he abruptly married the other woman who he’d been dating. Sheila is stunned and hurt–totally shocked about what happened. Sheila really loved Reese, totally loved him. She’s still not over their cruel and abrupt breakup. Reese has recently moved to the U.K. with his new wife and Sheila still thinks about him every day.

Alexis: Tell me about your story’s hero Mason. What’s he like? How is he different than his identical twin brother Reese?

Cecelia: Reese is a womanizer but Mason is kind, sweet, and thoughtful. He’s used to consoling his brother’s angry ex-girlfriends. He finds himself in a similar situation when he consoles Sheila about her recent breakup with his twin. A stutterer, Reese finds it hard to ask women out, and he’s used to being a loner. 

Alexis: A love triangle with good-looking male twins who look alike but act nothing alike, and a passionate woman like Sheila seems like a recipe for a riveting story! How did you dream up this core conflict?

Cecelia: I’ve always been fascinated by identical twins! I’m not sure why? I’ve featured identical twins in several of my previous books. It just seemed like a good idea for Sheila to see Mason for the first time and mistakenly think that he’s Reese. Sheila didn’t realize that Reese had a twin, which made the story even more appealing. 

Alexis: What kind of pain are Sheila and Mason dealing with? What can you share without giving away the plot?

Cecelia: Sheila is still depressed about her breakup with Reese. She’s also unemployed. Her father, whom she has not seen since she was seven, has recently gotten out of prison. She hopes to hop on a plan to visit him – she’s both scared and anxious to see her father again. 

Mason is trying to deal with his stutter. He wonders if he can control his stutter so that he can ask Sheila to be his date to his grandmother’s Christmas birthday party. He’s falling for Sheila, but, wonders if she’s only spending time with him because he reminds her of Reese. He wonders if she’s still secretly in love with his twin. 

Alexis: So Sheila and Mason had a rocky start due to mistaken identity. But it’s clear from your book blurb that they may fall in love. So what changes and makes them care about each other in a romantic way?

Cecelia: He’s kind and caring toward her. He performs a task so kind that Sheila is stunned by his thoughtfulness. He’s one of the nicest men she’s ever met, and he also has a strong heart for God. As they learn about each other, their attraction deepens and grows.

Alexis: What was the most fun feature of writing Sugar and Spice?

Cecelia: I loved having a Christmas birthday party near the end of the story. That was fun to write about. The hero’s grandmother turns 100 on Christmas day.

Alexis: What do you want your readers to remember the most about this story?

Cecelia: Always lean on God when you’re faced with problems.

Alexis: What was the inspiration behind your writing this story?

Cecelia: I’ve always loved writing about bakeries and food. I also love writing about identical twins. The story developed from those elements.

Alexis: Many of your previously published stories revolve around bakeries. Do you like to bake? Share details if you do, such as your favorite dessert. Share your favorite Christmas holiday recipe that you love to make. 

Cecelia: I love to bake. My favorite is lemon pound cake. You can find the recipe on my website,

Alexis: Thanks for the interview, Cecelia. Merry Christmas! 

Author bio: 
Cecelia Dowdy has been an avid reader since she learned to string letters together to form words. 

While pursuing a business degree in college, one of her professors tried to convince her to get an English degree since he felt she was a great writer. Years later, after receiving her B.S. in Finance, she took her former teacher's advice, and started pursuing her literary career.

She loves to read, write, and bake delicious desserts during her spare time. Traveling is another favorite hobby, and she's been to various countries around the world, including Germany, France, England, Tahiti, New Zealand, Mexico, Jamaica, Bahamas, Cayman Islands, and Santo Domingo. 

She enjoys listening to old tunes with her husband on Saturday nights. Currently, she resides with her spouse and young son in Maryland.

Buy Sugar and Spice book in 
Frosting and Flurries: Five Delicious Christmas Romances box set on Amazon 

Connect with Cecelia:

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  1. Thanks so much for having me on your blog, Alexis! This is so much fun!
    ~Cecelia Dowdy~

  2. Enjoyed reading Cecelia's comments.

  3. I would share with my Aunt Hazel. She had a stroke the first of November, and ater extensive therapy is now home & taking therapy there. She always called me every day and I love her so much. She misses getting out, especially not being able to attend church. She loves lemon pound cake, so that would be a special treat for her.

    1. Thanks, Critchmom! Praying that your aunt has a speedy recovery! I hope she feels better soon!
      ~Cecelia Dowdy~

  4. It definitely sounds interesting. Although...Doesn't dating your brother's ex violate some kind of bro code?

    1. Hi, Ashley! LOL! Well, it all works out in the end! You'll see when you read the story!
      ~Cecelia Dowdy~

  5. I love that you incorporate twins into your books. I am an identical twin myself. Aka Baby A lol. Btw my son loves lemon cake and I like pound cake so that recipe is a win win 😂

    1. Wow, Chynna! So fascinating that you are an identical twin! I hope you enjoy the pound cake recipe! I love it! I even discovered a new trick! I sift the flour twice (I did this for the first time last Thanksgiving). Sifting the flour twice gives the cake an even higher, lighter texture. So good with that lemon glaze on top! Oh my! I want a piece right now! I might make another one for Christmas dessert!
      ~Cecelia Dowdy~


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