Sweet Nothings (Amuse Bouche #1) by T. Neilson
Cover art: Aaron Anderson
Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words is happy to have T. Neilson here today answering a few questions and talking about Sweet Nothings, the first in a new series. Welcome!
Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words Interview with T. Neilson
Does research play a role into choosing which genre you write? Do you enjoy research or prefer making up your worlds and cultures?
You could say I did some research for these books! I spent over twenty years in the food industry. I started out as a waitress — that was my first job, at age 14. When I finally left the food industry, I was 28. By then I was a professional coffee taster (AKA a cupper, which is a thing you have to be careful about calling yourself when you also write romance) and I was sick of the industry.
I kind of grew up in cafes and kitchens, and a huge part of my social life and social circle was food-world-adjacent, too. All my friends were in coffee, or beer, or kitchens. I was sick to death of the work and ready for a change, so I ventured out to become a full-time writer. And slowly, bit by bit, I started to miss the food scene. I guess it was sort of like kicking the dust of your hometown off your feet, and then starting to feel homesick.
These days, I get my food industry fix by work emergency cover shifts as at a friend’s cafe. I love having the chance to jump back into the food scene, but it’s incredibly physical work, and I don’t think I could make it full time in a kitchen any more. I still love the food industry. It is a different world, really unique, and the camaraderie is incredible.
When I set out to write the Amuse Bouche books (of which Sweet Nothings is the first), I wanted to recreate that world for myself, and for readers too. And it’s not by accident that Sweet Nothings takes place in a teeny tiny town in the middle of nowhere, and parts of it are an awful lot like the town I grew up in. There are a lot of parallels between the food industry and small town living.
Do you read romances, as a teenager and as an adult? Who do you think is your major influence as a writer? Now and growing up?
I loved reading fantasy and science fiction as a kid, with a little mystery on the side sometimes. Ursula le Guin, Tolkien, and Melanie Rawn were my favourites for SSF, and Ian Rankin, Agatha Christie, and Dorothy L Sayers for mystery. I grew up in a small town with a family that was coming apart at the seams, and I loved the way people went away and had adventures, created all-new families, and solved mysteries. I only really started reading romance as an adult, after I had done a little travelling, and moved to the big city, and settled with my partner, and had some adventures of my own. Then I think romance filled a different need for me, a sense of home being a feeling rather than necessarily a place.
When I found romance, holy cats I fell right into the genre. I have a TBR list that is embarrassingly huge, but I love to read (especially audiobooks) and to discover new authors. My current desert-island romance authors are Victoria Dahl, Damon Suede, and BA Tortuga, but there are so many great authors out there who I haven’t had the opportunity to read yet. Part of why I read audiobooks is because I can read while I’m cooking or in the car. I really wish you could order reading time from a store.
About Sweet Nothings:
Will a bitter bite from the past spoil a sweet romance?
Tristan Love, the youngest of seven brothers, is back in his hometown. He’s left the New York food scene and an abusive relationship behind him, but he holds his love of French pastries close to his heart and is determined to put his skills to use in a bakery of his own.
Returning to his childhood home means his meddlesome brother Simon will butt into his business, but before the bakery even opens its doors, Tristan’s delectable creations have the town’s mouths watering, and Jake, a cute mechanic, asks Tristan out. It all seems worthwhile….
That is, until the bakery burns down, Jake’s criminal past comes to light, and Tristan’s nasty ex rears his head where he is decidedly not wanted.
About the Author:
T Neilson writes flirty, silly, contemporary m/m romance featuring recovering addicts, mental health problems, and abuse survivors. Honestly, honestly, the books are silly. I swear.