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About the author:
Catherine Peace has been telling stories for as long as she could remember. She often blames two things for her forays into speculative fiction—Syfy (when it was SciFi) channel Sundays with her dad and The Island of Dr. Moreau by HG Wells. She graduated in 2008 from Northern Kentucky University with a degree in English and is still chasing the dream of being super rich and famous, mostly so she can sit around in her PJs all day and write stories.
Catherine currently lives on a farm in South Carolina. E-I-E-I-O.
What inspired you to write your book?
I'm a mythology and folklore nerd, and one of my favorite kinds of stories is the swan maiden stories. There's one in nearly every culture, from Maori (Ember's family) to the Mi'kmaq tribes in Canada, to Japan and even in Nordic myth. It's so neat to see how similar cultures can actually be, and that's something that'll come up throughout the series and any spinoffs (so please buy the book! pretty please???).
I am also a huge Food Network fan, and I went through a phase of obsessively watching Diners, Drive-ins, and Dives, which is where the idea for Back Road Eats comes from, and a big part of the plot. The book was originally part of a line of foodie romances, and I still loved that aspect after I got the rights back. Ember's cooking is a huge part of who she is, how she connects to her heritage. For Austin, it's a passion but also an unattainable dream for as long as he's hosting BRE.
Here is a short sample from the book:
Armed with her trusty coffee carafe, she made the rounds to take her mind off Amy’s silence—Three months? Anything could’ve happened in three months. The day Amy took off was still fresh in her mind, as was the argument. Papa had never been so angry, and Amy…. They both said things Ember hoped they regretted, but her sister’s parting words were a slap in the face. “Someone needs to let Dia know she hasn’t been forgotten. I’m gonna find her, and when I do, I’m gonna tell her that her beloved Papa wouldn’t get off his arse to search.”
The trucker in the corner complimented the cheeseburger. The two best friends, heading cross-country on an epic road trip before “starting real life,” had shared a salad and gobbled up every bit of it. After taking their payment, she brought them each a piece of kumara pie for the road. With bright and questioning eyes, they looked up at her. “On the house. You guys might get hungry later.” They showed their gratitude with an extra tip, then disappeared through the door, arm-in-arm. A few minutes later, the trucker followed suit. “Thank you, ma’am,” he said, tipping his cap slightly. She smiled, but the sad truth remained: she’d never see these people again.
Like she feared she’d never see her sisters again.