[Manga Maniac Cafe] Good morning, Charmaine! Describe yourself in five words or less.
[Charmaine Ross] Determined, Forgetful, Happy, Head in the Clouds (always up there working out characters and new plots!)
[Manga Maniac Cafe] Can you tell us a little about Four-Leaf Clover?
[Charmaine Ross] A sexy, sugar-laden David vs Goliath story about a local bakery, a national chain, and what really matters.
Clover Loveday has worked hard to get her café Four-Leaf Clover up and running, her ticket out of an increasingly alarming financial situation and her dream come true. When she literally falls off her ladder into the arms of national bakery chain Upper Crust owner, sexy-as-sin Liam Sinclair, who owns the new bakery being built just across the road, she decides that no matter how nauseated she is about the idea, it is best keep your enemy close, rather than leave things to fate.
Liam has never put too much thought into the competition when he opens a new outlet, other than taking their customers and strengthening the Upper Crust brand. But here in the beautiful Dandenong Ranges, Clover Loveday’s cafe is a little too close for comfort, and Clover Loveday a little too good-looking. So Liam asks his PA to put together a Fact Sheet about his new competition. He has a business to run, a father to please, and hundreds of people to keep in jobs. Surely information can keep an unwanted strong sexual pull at bay…
A sexy, caffeinated, satisfying story about unexpected temptations, forgiveness, and putting love before money.
[Manga Maniac Cafe] Can you share your favorite scene?
[Charmaine Ross] Clover was tired. More tired than usual. Lack of sleep often did that to her, compounding the effects of a physical day. She’d been unable to go to sleep because of a kiss she hadn’t wanted or asked for and still couldn’t seem to push from her mind. Clover checked the bread in the covered bowl she’d set aside that morning. She always liked the smell of raising bread in the morning. Made it more earthy.
It had been a nice kiss, well, a great kiss. She rolled the risen dough onto the floured surface and started kneading. Hell, it had knocked her socks off. Left fist. Exactly what she hadn’t wanted. Right fist. Clover blew a strand of hair from her face. Making dough usually let off steam, but this morning it didn’t have the desired effect.
She rolled the soft dough into a long sausage. The dough would make great lunch rolls. She’d add them to today’s menu. Take the rest to the shelter at finish time. She knew exactly what she wanted to do and where she wanted to be. No diversions.
She’d never got so caught up before. Now the sausage was too thick, so she had to start again. This time less force. She just didn’t need a man in her life, no matter how good he was at kissing. She certainly didn’t need to feel so damn good because of it. She picked up a broad-bladed knife and chopped the sausage into sections. Chop. Chop. Chop. The blade made a satisfactory thump on the cutting board. What was it about Liam that had her all confused about her simple life’s rules?
‘Huh? Clover looked up to see Holly lounging on the doorframe. Holly looked from the knife in Clover’s hand to the small blobs of dough scattered over the bench. ‘Are you planning to make rolls for dwarves?’
Clover kept in the sound of frustration as she gathered the bits of dough and started kneading. Again.
‘I’m okay. Just couldn’t sleep last night,’ Clover said.
Holly locked her arms over her chest and rested a hip on the bench. ‘Ah-huh. Any reason you want to particularly share?’
‘No reason.’ The kiss wasn’t the problem. It was the fact she’d let him do it. Just stood there, waiting for him to plant his mouth on hers. She hadn’t the will power or the inclination to stop him. And it had been so nice to let him do it to her. So nice to feel desired, wanted. Nice to give in to what she craved. Just for a moment. A nano-second of bliss.
Then reality had stepped in. Knew where a kiss could lead and that she couldn’t let it pull her into its sweet embrace. The nagging weight of responsibility pushed on her shoulders and she had listened, like she always did. Responded by letting him walk back out her door, angry that she had let it happen in the first instance. Besides, she’d be getting into bed with the enemy. She just couldn’t do that.
[Manga Maniac Cafe] What gave you the most trouble with the story?
[Charmaine Ross] I found having a good balance of seriousness with humour. I ended up going through the book after a few edits and changed and added to scenes to add a lighter touch. It was easy to bet bogged down in Clover’s situation. I had to work at keeping the fun in the romance, after all, falling in love is fun.
[Manga Maniac Cafe] What’s one thing you won’t leave home without?
[Charmaine Ross] My e-reader! – Always handy when you have a few free moments.
[Manga Maniac Cafe] Name three things on your desk right now.
[Charmaine Ross] -Phone, empty coffee cup (have to do something about that) and an air diffuser!
[Manga Maniac Cafe] If you could trade places with anyone for just one day, who would you be?
[Charmaine Ross] Princess Kate – that girl looks good!
[Manga Maniac Cafe] You have been granted the use of one superpower for one week. Which power would you choose, and what would you do with it?
[Charmaine Ross] I’d be a genie – in a nod of my head the house would be cleaned, the laundry done, food in the pantry, and dinner made all without me lifting a finger, then I would have all day to write more stories!
[Manga Maniac Cafe] What are some books that you enjoyed recently?
Years ago the Diana Gabaldon series took me away. I DEVOURED those books. I love the Maya Banks series – that girl can write anything! I love the way Keri Arthur has made Melbourne into an alternate reality. I wished I lived in her world! I love Illona Andrews for her magical worlds and face-paced plot lines. All of our local home-grown talent. I take my hat off to you all, ladies!
[Manga Maniac Cafe] How can readers connect with you?
[Charmaine Ross] Website: www.charmaineross.com.au
I live in Upwey, a very leafy suburb of outer Melbourne. I can hear most Melbournians say, ‘where?’ Think Puffing Billy, the hills and inexcusably steep driveways and you’re there. We have a house with room for the kids to play in the backyard, the cat to sleep wherever and the husband to have his back shed.
Writing awards and Achievements:
2011: Won a five day intensive workshop – Romance Writers of Australia
2012: Finalist in the Emerald Contest – Romance Writers of Australia
2012: Double Exposure contracted with Penguin Books Australia
2012: The Colours of Sunset contracted with Penguin Books Australia
2012: Earth Angel contracted with Crimson Romance
2013: Paradise Island contracted with Crimson Romance
2013: Makeover Miracle contracted with Harlequin Escape
2013: The Haunted Mansion contracted with Harlequin Escape
2013: Four-Leaf Clover contracted with Harlequin Escape
Wild At Heart
Reviews from Goodreads reviewers:
‘Four-Leaf Clover is an adorable romance. Clover is hardworking and everything she does is for her family! I just loved her! And Liam is a nice guy. Can’t go wrong with nice and handsome. AND they are from Australia so I loved the book even more as I imagined them talking in their cute accents. *sigh* I wanted to drink coffee and eat sweets the whole time I was reading this. I liked the growth of the characters, the fact that they were honest with their feelings, and the compassion Clover has for her mother. I will recommend this book to anyone who wants a quick, sweet, romantic read.’
Clover has her own bakery business – Four Leaf Clover in a small Australian town; Liam wants to open his chain store across the street. It’s baguettes at dawn! Even though they are rivals, they are still attracted to each other. Liam and Clover develop a deep love as the book progresses. Although the romance is sweet and tender, there is also a very hot and steamy side to “Four leaf clover”. There are many obstacles for them both to overcome considering they are in competition, but they do; and it is an adorable journey of finding love. I really enjoyed this adorable book. It is filled with the sweet smell of fresh-baked bread and ground coffee. If you are looking for a tender romantic read for an afternoon- escape to small town Australia with this book. You will be left with a smile on your face.’
‘Amy Logg’s review Apr 14, 14 4 of 5 stars Read on April 12, 2014 The romance: After only a short time together, both Clover and Liam start to see that they are attracted to one another, but their trust issues prevent them from fully committing to a relationship. Clover fears that she’s just a fling to Liam, and Liam’s concerned that she may just be after his money (a thought that is planted… in his head by his father). But overtime it becomes clearer that there are true feelings between them, and watching them learn to trust and fall in love was really sweet. The Writing: The story flowed very smoothly… I really enjoyed the writing style… I love sweet and fluffy endings. FINAL WORD: Four Leaf Clover was a really sweet and endearing story. With likeable characters and warm and friendly town setting, this book is perfect for any chick lit fan.’
“I totally LOVED reading this story. Thank you for giving me the pleasure. I hope that more people feel the same way as I do about this book. Keep up the great writing. ”
“Four-Leaf Clover is a wonderful story of love between an independent woman, who only wants to take care of her ailing mother and her self while paying off a loan shark her late father borrowed money from. She has opened her dream café/bakery only to find out that directly across the street from her shop a national chain of bakeries is due to open their own newest bakery in her small town. In walks the man of her dreams catching her as she falls off a ladder. Sparks fly between them, she finds out…more Four-Leaf Clover is a wonderful story of love between an independent woman, who only wants to take care of her ailing mother and her self while paying off a loan shark her late father borrowed money from. She has opened her dream café/bakery only to find out that directly across the street from her shop a national chain of bakeries is due to open their own newest bakery in her small town. In walks the man of her dreams catching her as she falls off a ladder. Sparks fly between them, she finds out he is her enemy, in the hot flesh, Liam Sinclair. I enjoyed reading this story. It’s got tension between the two as both fight their demons while fighting their mutual attraction for one another. Not helping is Liam’s father who has a very low opinion of women, reminding him of a past mistake made (I really detested the father). I felt so good after reading this story, it’s taken me a few days before I’ve been able to start a new story.”
A sexy, sugar-laden David vs Goliath story about a local bakery, a national chain, and what really matters.
Clover Loveday has worked hard to get her café Four-Leaf Clover up and running — her ticket out of an increasingly alarming financial situation and her dream come true. When she literally falls off her ladder into the arms of sexy-as-sin Liam Sinclair. The same Liam Sinclair who owns the new bakery being built just across the road…the new store by bakery chain Upper Crust owner! Clover decides then that no matter how nauseated she is about the idea, it is best keep your enemies close, rather than leave things to fate.
Liam has never put too much thought into the competition when he opens a new outlet, other than taking their customers and strengthening the Upper Crust brand. But here in the beautiful Dandenong Ranges, Clover Loveday’s cafe is a little too close for comfort, and Clover herself a little too good-looking. So Liam asks his PA to put together a ’fact sheet’ about his new competition. He has a business to run, a father to please, and hundreds of people to keep in jobs. Surely information can keep an unwanted strong sexual pull at bay…
A sweet, caffeinated, satisfying story about unexpected temptations, forgiveness, and putting love before money.
Buy link: http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Dstripbooks&field-keywords=charmaine+ross