Cooking The Books – Madeline Ash

Chef with cookbookWelcome to 2015 and another year of Cooking the Books. I’m thrilled to kick the year off with one of my favourite authors. Madeline Ash writes beautifully moving stories wrapped in layers of sparkling humour and sexy times. To die for heroes, wonderful heroines and truly unique stories make her an insta-buy for me. Madeline’s latest release Love & Other Lies is no different. Welcome, Madeline!

MadelineAsh_ProfileThanks for having me today, Louise, it’s wonderful to back on such a delicious blog! I’d love to talk about the subjective nature of taste. It’s fascinating. We all have foods and flavours that we simply won’t go near. I don’t mean by choice, like vegetarians avoiding meats, but because it just tastes foul!


The heroine in my latest book, Abby, has a strong aversion to bananas. She can’t handle the fruit itself or any banana flavoured goodies. Abby is also a compulsive liar. Or, she used to be – she’s reformed at the start of the story.

At one point, when Abby fears she’s lapsed and will have to rebuild her life all over again, her friend (and café owner) dishes her up a banana muffin for breakfast. Her friend is using it as a test.

“Abby drained her latte in a few long swallows. ‘Add to that, I haven’t slept in twenty-four hours. There’s a trigger-happy man with a nail gun inside my skull. My stomach’s an anxious, ravenous mess and you know I hate banana muffins.’

Jenny folded her arms. ‘And if you’d truly reverted to lying, you wouldn’t have reminded me.’”

If she’d lapsed into lying, the full mess of it, Abby probably would have eaten the muffin. Personal preference never had any bearing on what came out of her mouth (or what went in it). Also, since reforming, she only speaks the truth, even if it offends people. And telling someone that you hate the breakfast they’ve given you is a bitch-slap of truth! I loved using her dislike of food to mark her behavior.

As for me, I don’t mind bananas (their texture is another matter). They’re jam-packed with goodness and make pretty delicious muffins when paired with their best friend, chocolate. Today I’d love to share this tasty recipe from a muffin book I often tug from the cupboard when I’ve got friends coming over.

Instead of typing it out, I’ve taken a photo so the stains act as proof of how delicious they must be – made time and time again!

Madeline's Recipe book

I’d love to know about you – are there any foods or flavours that you simply cannot tolerate, even to be polite? As for me, don’t even say seafood!

Thanks, Madeline! I can’t think of a single flavour I don’t like although I find some flavours in unusual carriers very off-putting eg. savoury ice creams – Louise

About Love & Other Lies by Madeline Ash


Love & Other LiesSmall town vet Abby Benson has fled to the country to put her shameful past behind her. She’s just beginning to find her feet again when handsome stranger, Rue Thorn, arrives in town and begins to stir things up. Rue is gorgeous, kind and thoughtful and the two share an instant attraction. But convinced he’ll despise her if he learns about her history, Abby reluctantly keeps him at arm’s length. Determined to win Abby over, Rue tries to reshape himself as the sort of guy he thinks she might be interested in. And for a while it seems his act is working. But when he finds out that Abby has been lying to him, it isn’t long before everything start to unravel … A moving story of trust, forgiveness and the power of love from the author of Uncovered by Love and The Playboy’s Dark Secret.

Find Love & Other Lies on Amazon, iTunes, Kobo, and GooglePlay.

Visit Madeline’s website, or find her on Facebook, Google+ and Twitter.


Cooking The Books – Madeline Ash

Chef with cookbookWhat a treat today! My guest is fellow Destiny Romance author Madeline Ash. A treat because Madeline and I were in a critique group together for about eighteen months and I had the opportunity to read her beautiful stories as they unfolded month after month. Hearing that Madeline had been contracted to Destiny Romance was like coming full circle.

Thank you for having me here today, Louise. I love the idea of exploring the food in books we read and write, and drawing parallels between the passion and nourishment of food and that of love. My mind jumps to rich aromas and subtle undertones, the tactile experience of preparing ingredients, and the seduction of one’s senses when sitting down to a delicious meal. I think of indulgence, decadence, and more than a little satisfaction. And okay, okay, I’m starting to think of Barry White.

But what happens to ol’ Baz when a girl has to follow a strict diet?MadelineAsh_Profile

Vera Cole is the heroine in Uncovered by Love. She has a secret (which I’ll do my best not to spoil), and consequently she must monitor everything she eats. And I don’t mean, ‘Whoops, I accidentally ate that whole tub of ice-cream – better have a carrot.’  She has to watch her cholesterol and saturated fat intake, as well as her fluid and sodium intake. Let’s add limitations to the amount of sugar and concentrated sweets she consumes, and a restriction on caffeine and alcohol. So that means a very thin slice of chocolate cake on her birthday, no flirting over coffee or a latte, and definitely no glass of wine to warm the blood.

Kills the romance a bit, doesn’t it?

Well, almost. But Vera deals with her diet in such a subtle way that the hero doesn’t really think on it. His focus well and truly is elsewhere (as it should be). This was an intentional move on my part – since food is such a powerful metaphor for sex, I had to be careful that the sexual tension wasn’t reduced to the potency level of a celery stick. So food took the backseat in this book!

That having been said, there’ s a scene in Chapter Two when Vera’s diet interrupts Leeson’s chase. I’ll share it with you:

UncoveredByLove_cropped small‘See that bar?’ Vera followed the direction of his finger and nodded. ‘If you like cocktails, that’s the place to go.’

‘I don’t drink,’ she said, thwarting Leeson’s never-fail seduction plan. She looked up at him again. ‘Where can I get the best chai?’

‘Uh.’ He didn’t have a clue. ‘Let me think.’

‘You know,’ Vera said, her smile almost a smirk, ‘I’ve heard that men find it hard to admit when they don’t know something.’

‘I didn’t know that.’

She threw him a look. ‘Nice try.’

He grinned. ‘All right, so you’ll have to find the chai yourself.’ Then he took her elbow and guided her into a patisserie that smelled like an aphrodisiac. She mightn’t drink cocktails, but surely he could rely on her sweet tooth. ‘I’ll introduce you to the best chocolate croissant in the city.’

Vera stood beside him in the queue, arms crossed as if he’d let her down. The first woman he’d met to regard a dessert wonderland with disappointment. ‘You ate chocolate cake,’ he said in his defence.

‘I know,’ she said. ‘But I’m watching my diet.’

He looked her over, dismayed. ‘What on earth for?’

‘Not to lose weight,’ she said, cheeks flushing. ‘I just … have to stay healthy.’

He frowned, not understanding. ‘Halves?’

She gave him a peculiar smile. ‘Halves could work.’

It had the potential to stop Barry White, but between you and me, the lack of luscious foods and exotic tastes did nothing to dampen the hot spice of romance between Vera and Leeson. And that’s it from me! If you’d like to find out why Vera had to be so careful, you can find Uncovered by Love at the following online stores:

Amazon and Amazon UK

Apple (iTunes store)

Destiny Romance

Google Play


You can find Madeline on the net: