5 Snacks to Keep a Romance Author Writing
The key components most people think of writer’s using to write a book are usually a laptop (or pen and paper) and a great idea. But once we have those things, we need the next most important factors in churning out great stories—some snacks. So I’m here to share 5 of my favorite snacks that keep me writing. I would like to tell you this list is filled with healthy brain foods but alas, there is only one snack in my list that has a vegetable in it (and even then, it’s pushing it…lol).
My desk is littered with post-its, stacks of notebooks, my planner, at least one pair of reading glasses, more stack of reference books, and when I’m in the dregs of the writing cave, usually one of these snacks:
Chocolate. Of course. My personal chocolate of choice is Peanut M&M’s, snack sized Snickers, and mini Reese’s peanut butter cups. Paired with an icy Diet Coke, any (or all depending on how the writing day is going) of these chocolaty snacks give me the perfect sugar-caffeine rush to keep my brain firing and my fingers flying as I try to write all the words.
Crunchy Cheetos. Anyone that knows me knows I love these delicious orange crunchy delights. They are my favorite wicked vice. I know they are terrible—they probably aren’t even a real food, but I still love them. Although I usually reserve crunching on Cheetos for plotting, otherwise I get orange dust on my keyboard.
Peanut Butter anything. Not because it gives me that big of a protein boost—although I’m sure it does something—it’s just because I love peanut butter. My favorite snack recently is a toasted English muffin spread with crunchy peanut butter and grape jelly.
Anything with cheese melted on it. Nachos, grilled cheese, tacos, and my personal favorite—of which I consider myself a bit of a connoisseur—Macaroni and Cheese. Which is also fun since I write romantic comedy and love to stick a little cheese into some of the scenes in my book.
Is a whole pizza still considered a snack? Just teasing. I couldn’t eat a whole pizza if I tried—well, not in one sitting at least. But a piece of pizza, whether it’s piping hot with cheese melting off the edges (see favorite snack #4) or cold and stuffed into my mouth as a substitute for breakfast—I’ll take it. Hot is best, but that usually means we had to order delivery because I am pushing a deadline or because I got lost in the story and spent the whole day at my computer. And yes—for those of you still waiting…I am counting the tomato sauce on the pizza as my vegetable serving cause that’s how this writer rolls.
And there you have it. The top five favorite snacks this romance writer uses to keep writing. And I can tell you all of these were eaten at one time or another during the writing of You Had Me at Cowboy. And I even gave Tess my vices of loving Cheetos, BBQ ribs, and Mac and Cheese!
I had such a blast writing this book. I adore Mason and Tess and loved giving this cute couple, amusing settings, and witty banter, and writing scenes that were sexy and fun. There are so many great scenes in this book from the piggy back ride in the rain, to the serial-killer clown scare, to Mason taking another run at their first kiss.
Mason James is the responsible brother, the one who stayed behind to run the ranch when his older brother left to play professional hockey. He’s always felt in his brother’s shadow and women have used him in the past to get to his famous brother. But when he meets Tessa Kane, something about her is different, and for once, he finds himself risking his heart as he falls for this woman.
And Tess is falling right back. Except Tess has a secret. A terrible, awful secret that could wreck everything. Even though she likes Mason, she is doing everything he feared. She’s agreed to be his date for the weekend, but only because she’s a reporter and is trying to get the scoop on Mason’s brother. Things get crazy, and as Tess’s feelings grow, she finds herself between a rock and a hard-muscled cowboy.
I hope you love reading it as much as I loved writing it.
Here’s an excerpt of a fun foodie scene from when Mason and Tess first meet and they’re eating ribs and Mac and Cheese…
He wasn’t kidding. There was meat—and beef, as in beefcake—everywhere she turned. Tess didn’t think she’d ever been in a room full of so many beautiful people. Yet she couldn’t seem to take her eyes off the cowboy who was piling ribs onto a plate for her.
She was suddenly aware of how many of those beautiful people were also thin and fit, and if she weren’t starving, she’d probably be a little more conscious of her own full curves. But at the moment, she couldn’t care less. Her mouth watered as Mason dumped a scoop of creamy macaroni and cheese next to the ribs.
“This is supposed to be my mom’s recipe. She gave it to the caterers, and they did their best. It’s not quite as good as hers, but it’ll do in a pinch.”
Somebody needs to pinch me, Tess thought as he led her toward a table. She couldn’t believe she’d just walked through a buffet line behind one of her favorite celebrities.
Mason got her settled at a table and signaled for one of the caterers to bring them some drinks. “What are you drinking? Tea? Soda? Wine? It’s an open bar, so get whatever you feel like.”
“What are you getting?” she asked as she lifted a rib and tore off a bite. A moan escaped her lips. “Oh my gosh. These ribs are amazing.”
He chuckled. “I think I’ll get a beer. They’ve got one from a local brewery called Creedence Clearwater, and it’s pretty good.”
“That does sound good. I’ll have one too.”
His eyes widened, then a grin covered his face and his voice fell into a deep, low tone, reminding her of a biscuit dipped in thick, rich honey. “Damn, girl, I haven’t even known you thirty minutes, and I think you’ve already won my heart. You drink beer, eat barbecue like a truck driver, and I’ve already seen you in your bra. I might have just fallen in love.”
Tessa let loose a burst of laughter, but her stomach had dropped at the sound of his words spoken in a slow, sexy drawl.
She’d better be careful, or she might just fall in love herself.
Whoa. Down, girl. Nobody was falling in love with anyone.
She’d already fallen—into a mess of trouble—and the only way she was going to get herself, and her grandmother, out of it was to forget about the distraction of the cute cowboy and stay focused on the task at hand.
But the task at hand was heading toward the dessert table, and it looked like it would be a while before she’d get a chance to talk to Rock, so she might as well enjoy the food—and the company—while she waited.
Mason took his hat off and set it in the center of the table. It was a small gesture of manners but told her a lot about the kind of man Mason James was.
His hat was black—she couldn’t help but wonder at the significance of that detail—but it was also high quality and looked expensive. Obviously, a good hat and not one he donned to work in. A slight hat ring circled his head, a barely noticeable crease in his dark hair, and a shock of his bangs fell across his forehead, giving him an even more rakish look.
The temperature of the room had just increased a notch, or maybe it was just the heat building in her chest as she tried not to squirm in her chair, with her hands clasped tightly in her lap to keep from reaching up and brushing his hair from his forehead.
A petite blond waitress sauntered up to their table and offered Mason two bottles of beer and a suggestive smile.
Grabbing a napkin, Tess wiped the barbecue sauce from her mouth, noting that the perky blond’s shirt fit just fine over her chest.
Perky, petite blonds were so lucky. Tess had always felt like an Amazon around them—and not in warrior princess way, but in a clumsy, too-tall, size-ten clodhopper-shoes way.
Although the heels she wore today were far from clodhoppers. The cute burgundy pumps had cost more than she usually doled out for a pair of shoes, but they’d seemed worth it at the time. But that was before. Before she’d stopped attending parties and before her grandmother had started chatting online with a Nigerian prince.
Still, no matter how much her shoes cost or how shiny their finish was, Tess still felt gawky and self-conscious sitting in front of a plate full of half-devoured ribs while the waitress swung her tiny hips and cute ponytail at Mason.
He didn’t seem to notice as he took the beers, offered her a polite smile, and turned his attention back to Tess.
Score one for the Amazon.
She took one of the bottles and held it up. “What should we drink to?”
He reached his hand toward her face, and she sucked in her breath as he slowly swiped his thumb across her chin. A dab of barbecue sauce garnished its tip, and he sucked it between his lips. Lord, he had amazing lips.
She couldn’t breathe as she watched him lick the tip of his thumb, and she was fairly certain one of her eggs had just dropped.
Swallowing at the dryness in her mouth, she tried to keep from melting right into her chair.
He tipped his bottle toward hers and offered her a cocky grin. “To good barbecue, cold beer, and…”
He hesitated, and she raised an eyebrow as she waited for him to say lacy bras.
Instead, he winked and said, “…and new friends.”
She let out a chuckle and relaxed her shoulders. She liked this guy. Clinking her bottle against his, she repeated, “…to new friends.”
This giveaway is over. The lucky winner is posted in the comments.
Jennie Marts is the USA TODAY Best-selling author of award-winning books filled with love, laughter, and always a happily ever after. Readers call her books “laugh out loud” funny and the “perfect mix of romance, humor, and steam.” Fic Central claimed one of her books was “the most fun I’ve had reading in years.”
She is living her own happily ever after in the mountains of Colorado with her husband, two dogs, and a parakeet that loves to tweet to the oldies. She’s addicted to Diet Coke, adores Cheetos, and believes you can’t have too many books, shoes, or friends.
Her books include the contemporary western romance Hearts of Montana series, the romantic comedy/ cozy mysteries of The Page Turners series, the hunky hockey-playing men in the Bannister family in the Bannister Brothers Books, and the small-town romantic comedies in the Lovestruck series of Cotton Creek Romances.
Jennie loves to hear from readers.